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Women Leading the Way in Sonoma Valley's Wine Industry

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05/04/2023 Pioneering Female Winemakers and Business Leaders Setting Examples for Sustainable and Terroir-driven Wines.

Sonoma Valley is known for its beautiful landscapes and world-class wineries. While historically, the wine industry has been male-dominated, there are many successful women-led wineries in Sonoma Valley. In this blog post, we will highlight some of these wineries and their female leaders.

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1) Merry Edwards Winery

Merry Edwards Winery was founded by Merry Edwards in 1997. Edwards is a pioneer in the wine industry, having started her career as one of the first female winemakers in California in the 1970s. She has since become a respected figure in the industry and is known for her expertise in Pinot Noir. At Merry Edwards Winery, she focuses on producing small-lot wines that showcase the unique terroir of Sonoma County.

Merry Edwards Winery

2) MacRostie Winery & Vineyards

MacRostie Winery & Vineyards was founded by Susan MacRostie in 1987. MacRostie had previously worked in the tech industry but had always been passionate about wine. She started the winery with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and today the winery is known for its exceptional single-vineyard wines. MacRostie has also been instrumental in promoting sustainable and organic farming practices in the wine industry. Today, Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen continues in this tradition, crafting some of the region’s finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 

 MacRostie Winery & Vineyards

3) Three Sticks Wines

Prema Kerollis Behan began working for Three Sticks Wines founder Bill Price III in 2000 in an administrative position at Texas Pacific Group (TPG). Soon Prema found herself working closely with Price, his family, and TPG’s Director of Operations. Behan became an essential part of Price’s team and began helping manage his winery operations. She has been involved in Three Sticks Wines from its founding and has built relationships with the winery’s allocation list as it grew from Price’s friends and family to include a growing number of Pinot-savvy consumers. Today she is called the Co-Founder & General Manager.

Three Sticks Wines

4) Ram's Gate Winery

Ram's Gate Winery was founded by Jeff O'Neill in 2011, and led by winemaker and general manager, Taylor Berkley Boydstun for a long time. Boydstun has worked in the wine industry for over a decade and is known for her focus on terroir-driven winemaking. Ram's Gate Winery produces a range of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The management and staff have changed over time but the legacy continues.

Ram's Gate Winery

5) Kistler Vineyards

Kistler Vineyards was founded by Steve Kistler in 1978 and is now led by winemaker and general manager, Jason Kesner. Kesner has been with the winery for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the winery's success. Kistler Vineyards is known for its exceptional Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, which are made using traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques.

Kistler Vineyards

6) Scribe Winery

Scribe Winery is managed by Mariana Antinori. Antinori has worked in the wine industry in Europe, South Africa, and the United States and is known for her passion for natural winemaking. Scribe Winery is committed to sustainability and produces a range of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Scribe Winery

7) Auteur Wines

Auteur Wines is led by winemaker and general manager, Erin Green. Green has worked in the wine industry for over 20 years and is known for her expertise in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Auteur Wines produces small-lot, vineyard-designated wines that showcase the unique terroir of Sonoma Valley. The winery is committed to sustainable farming practices and has been certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

Auteur Wines

These are just a few examples of the many successful women-led wineries in Sonoma Valley. These women are not only exceptional winemakers but also business leaders who are paving the way for future generations of female winemakers. Their commitment to producing exceptional wines while promoting sustainability and organic farming practices is inspiring and sets an example for the entire wine industry.

Written by Stuti Khetan, Beverage Trade Network

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