The Tasting Panel: 2010 The Year of the Woman in Wine

This is a pretty impressive list, but what you first need to know is that this magazine has a woman behind it, nudging it forward every inch of the way. Anthony Dias Blue is editor-in-chief, and David Gadd is the managing editor, making this is a great team, with Meridith May as the publisher and executive editor.

I completely respect Meridith. We have history that dates back more than a decade. I’ve written about her as one of my wine writers. She’s one of the editors who has always liked my writing, and has given to me my share of space in her magazine as a guest writer. I know how hard she works for the industry, because we’re aligned.

Now, she’s taken that spotlight, as she does every single month, and is shining it on other women… But, I know she belongs in that list, too, because she’s right there with the best of them, working equally as hard.

So, Meridith May’s 10 on this blog is now 11…

  1. Chris Hanna, Hanna Winery
  2. Carolyn Wente, Wente Family Vineyards
  3. Sarah Quider, Ferrari-Carano
  4. Katy Leese, 585 Wine Partners
  5. Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards
  6. Gretchen Roddick, Hope Family Wines
  7. Jen Wall, Barefoot Cellars
  8. Holly Turner, Three Rivers Winery
  9. Jennifer Higgins, Lancaster Estate
  10. Alison Crary, Sterling Vineyards
  11. Meridith May, The Tasting Panel

I’m not going to give you snippets of what’s being said about each woman in this story. You need to buy the magazine for that info. I’m not writing this to take away the thunder of the stories, nor to steal it away from it’s copyright. The magazine deserves to be purchased, for the amount of work that goes into publishing it each month.

I will say this about the stories, though… They’re inspirational, and each one highlights a woman of great courage and determination; the same qualities that would go into my list of 2011: The Year of the Man in Wine. (Who would dare write that one, besides me? Every minority group would cry fowl, especially after the Wall Street bankers have reared their ugly heads. Have you ever seen a woman’s head on the floor of Wall Street, screaming and yelling, wheeling and dealing? I haven’t, but that’s just me. Hum…)

Back to the women…

I was very fortunate to briefly work with Jennifer Wall at Barefoot Cellars. It was quick for me, because my real passion was/is PR, not sales. I came to that conclusion at Barefoot, as I was out dusting bottles on the shelves and schlepping wine from the back of a store to make sure the shelves were full. That is just so far from writing. (I did form a life long friendship with Randy Arnold, who’s still there almost 14 years later.)

It was easy to sell Jen’s wines, but I wanted to write about them and her. She makes wonderfully affordable wines, and has a very sweet disposition. Her story would have been a great one to tell.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Wente of Wente Vineyards is a constant joy. Whenever I need her, she’s right there. She understands PR, and doesn’t miss a beat, every single time I call upon her. My relationship with Concannon Vineyard, as their publicist for about six years, got me into the back door of Livermore Valley. I still put on the Petite Sirah Symposium, as underwritten by Concannon, so I still have those ties. There have been times when I know of a writer going into Livermore Valley, and both Carolyn and Jim Concannon can be called upon to treat my writer friends well.

My relationships within this business are strong, being made sturdy by women of exceptional character. I wish that I knew each of these women, but it’s a big business and time is short for us all.

Congratulations to all of you! You’ve each done a great job! Carry on…

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