For at least a couple of centuries - since the time that wine transformed from a family affair dominated by hyper-local farmers making wines for their families and neighbors into a business - men have dominated the world of wine. Even in more recent decades, when women have taken on more and more roles in the wine business, the actual making of wine is still largely the province of men.
That’s been steadily changing, as more and more women take the helm in the winery. Some are continuing long-running family traditions, some are blazing new trails. Some are refining classic styles, some are utilizing new and innovative approaches. The result is an abundance of creative, delightful, and expressive wines that we absolutely love.
Ksenija Kostic House is the winemaker half of the wife-and-husband team that own Oregon’s Ovum Wines. Best known for her beloved Riesling-forward Big Salt blend, she employs a mix of traditional and modern techniques - the name of the winery reflects her fondness for using concrete eggs for fermentation - to create vibrant, exciting wines. Ovum’s EZY TGR red blend reflects her innovative approach, using Cabernet Sauvignon (and about eight other red varieties) but handling it in a way that minimizes tannin and weight, creating something you’d never expect from Cab: a light, juicy, chillable red. EZY TGR red blend available at Krog & West End; Big Salt available at Krog
CHARLES PERE ET FILLE
A multigenerational estate in Burgundy, this estate is now run by Pauline Charles (the Fille - French for daughter - in the brand’s name). She produces elegant, traditional Burgundies, utilizing traditional farming techniques, hand harvesting, and whole cluster fermentations. The La Combotte Bourgogne Rouge showcases fresh fruits and floral aromatics from Pinot Noir vines that average 30 years in age. Available at West End and Fayetteville
Andrea Ferreyra carries on a family tradition of making wines in Argentina’s Uco Valley, where her ancestor Eugenio Busto founded the region’s first winery in 1890. La Celia’s Malbec’s are classically Argentinian in character - big and bold and bursting with dark fruit - but retain balance and an elegance. Available at Krog
H. BILLIOT FILS
Laetitia Billiot is the fourth generation of her family to make Champagne - and one of the first women to helm a Champagne estate. Taking over the estate founded by her grandfather, she produces elegant grower Champagnes from the family’s 5 hectares of vines. The Réserve Brut Champagne expresses the elegant character of her wines, with classic notes of brioche and a definite hint of soft strawberry fruit from the majority Pinot Noir blend. Available at Krog
Sophie and Thierry Chardon started off as managing vineyards in France’s Loire Valley, and began operating their own estate, which is named after Sophie’s grandparents, in the mid 1990s. They are both hands-on with all aspects of the winery operation, focusing on organically farmed Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine appellation. The wine is classically French in character, showcasing crisp stone fruit underscored by pronounced minerality. Available at West End