Women winemakers are more common today than ever before and reimagining the wine industry. From innovative winemaking techniques to multi-award-winning wines, these are the six winemakers to keep your eye on. These winemakers have managed to not only produce quality wines but have incorporated sustainable practices throughout the process.
Sarah Crowe (Australia)
Sarah Crowe calls herself an accidental winemaker since it was never truly one of her aims in life. Her journey started when she was selling plants in a garden center and tending to the wine vines in the center. After contacting a winery called Brokenwood in Hunter Valley, her life would change forever. The only actual experience she had with wine was all the wines she had tasted and loved in the past, but that didn’t stop her.
When she started working in the winery, she fell in love with the work and everything surrounding the winemaking process, from the smell to the buzz, and hasn’t looked back since.
Laura Ramos (Spain)
Laura is one of only a handful of female winemakers in Spain and has proven to be hugely successful. She is one of four collective winemakers who created the Envínate label on the island of Tenerife. Their wines are somewhat controversial since they combine local Spanish grapes with Portuguese grapes – going against the traditional winemaking styles.
Envínate, which translates to “wine yourself,” was launched in 2005 while the four winemakers were studying enology. They first formed a winemaking consultancy but eventually created their own label.
Elena Walch (Italy)
Elena Walch is responsible for making the Alto Adige region of Italy a renowned area for premium wine. Her family-run wine estate produces several quality wines that have made international waves. Everything she does is driven by quality and innovation, which has carried her a long way. While she is an architect by trade, she married into one of the most significant wine families in the area and has since transformed the business. By adding modern ideas, she has been able to give the winery a competitive advantage.
Helen Masters (New Zealand)
Helen Master’s passion for wine was clear from the get-go when she applied to work at multiple wineries right after high school. Ata Rangi was the only winery that contacted her, and she enjoyed doing every job she could for an entire year. Eventually, she enrolled to study food technology and went into working a corporate job. But this job just reiterated the idea that she needed to be working with wine.
She worked multiple harvests and returned to her position at Ata Rangi to become their assistant winemaker and then eventually the head winemaker.
Izabella Zwack (Hungary)
Izabella runs the family winery in the renowned Tokaj region, where they produce the world-renowned sweet wine, as well as dry Furmint wine. While she grew up in a small Italian village, she moved with her family to Hungary, where her winemaking career took off. She stands proudly as an advocate for Hungarian wines since she feels they are quickly moving in the right direction.
Vanya Cullen (Australia)
Vanya comes from a winemaking background since her mother, Diana, was a winemaker in the 1960s and 1970s. Vanya has found that winemaking allows her to find a creative way to be in nature while also making something delicious. Her endeavors and expertise became exceedingly clear, especially after she was awarded for being the first woman to chair a wine show in Australia (Yarra Valley Wine Show.) All the wines produced by the winery are focused on biodynamic techniques, which she finds crucial for making quality, sustainable wines. Despite focusing mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the winery has been doing exceptionally well.
Nadia Barnard (South Africa)
Nadia Barnard is arguably South Africa’s most renowned female winemaker, responsible for producing a vast range of wines. Not only is she the winemaker for the Waterkloof range, but also several ranges of wine that fall under the Waterkloof brand. The farm is heavily focused on biodynamic and organic practices, leading the way for other South African wineries.
Key Marketing Takeaways
The wine industry is flooded with influential woman winemakers who are reimagining the wine industry with innovative ideas and premium wines.
From Spain to South Africa and Australia, these winemakers are changing the industry and the future.
It is clear that most female winemakers have seen the importance of sustainability and have adapted their winemaking practices accordingly.