Women’s History Month — an officially declared month highlighting women’s contributions to events in history and contemporary society — is celebrated each March in not just the United States but also in Australia and the United Kingdom. With California being known for wine and this commemoration having begun in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma, it only fits that we highlight the women of wine today.
Carolyn Wente of Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA, is a 4th generation winegrower and CEO of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. Her daughters Niki and Aly have also joined the family business as 5th generation winegrowers. They have estate vineyards in Arroyo Seco and Livermore Valley.
Lori Felten of Klinker Brick Wines in Lodi, CA, is a 5th generation grape grower who continues the tradition of cultivating “Old Vine” Zinfandel vineyards that her ancestors planted in the early 1900s. The winery is committed to balanced farming practices to produce top-quality fruit while caring for the land.
Theresa Heredia of Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg, CA, is a highly respected specialist in small-lot, single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. She has championed the next generation style of winemaking by focusing on earlier harvesting, moderate new oak, fresh acidity, and whole cluster fermentation. Under Theresa’s leadership, the winery has earned hundreds of 90+ scores.
Oregan has its share of women in wine as well. Desiree Noissete — founder of Mermosa Blanc de Blancs in Willamette Valley — describes mermaids as wildly free beings with powerful voices. With this wine, she honors her “family’s first mermaid,” ancestor Celestine Noisette, the Black Haitian woman who arrived on the shores of Antebellum Charleston and negotiated freedom for herself and her children.
Right here in Burleson, TX, resides another wine woman, none other than Roxanne Meyers. A mom, globetrotter, and member of the Lost Oak Winery family, Roxanne is known for wearing many hats. From the tasting room to the presidency, she can be credited with growing Lost Oak Winery 600% in the last 13 years, developing a robust event business, and helping Lost Oak expand into the Hill Country.
To taste the wines from Gary Farrell Vineyards, Klinker Brick Wines, Mermosa Blanc de Blancs, and Wente Vineyards, one can simply visit your local Central Market. As for Lost Oak Winery, you can take a guided winery and vineyard tour for $20 per person on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. To schedule a tour, visit LostOakWinery.com.