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Pioneers in the Industry

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SELECTIONS THAT CELEBRATE WOMEN IN WINEMAKING

As we surge into the new year, certified sommelier Stephanie Skager of Rollers Wine & Spirits has hand-picked wines that celebrate women and winemaking. These selections offer a “cheers” to women who are pioneers in the industry: 

LORENZA ROSE, CALIFORNIA 

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This wine is the product of a power mother-daughter team. Lorenza Rose was founded in 2008 by Melinda Kearney, a wine industry veteran from Napa Valley, and her daughter Michele Lorenza Ouellet, an international fashion model. Sharing a love of the beautiful Provençal Rose, they set out to create in California a wine of intention that was vineyard  driven, delicate, dry, low alcohol and full of light. In 2008 they traveled to Lodi. Strangers became friends and doors generously opened to the outstanding vineyards that have been the source of Lorenza True Rosé. The grapes are chosen from old vines and picked early to maintain acidity to make rose, not with rose as an afterthought.

POST FLIRTATION RED BLEND, CALIFORNIA 

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Post Flirtation is crafted by one of my personal favorite winemakers, Martha Stoumen. She went to work in the vineyard, olive orchard, and winery of a small farm and learning center in Tuscany. Martha entered the world of wine production through the lens of a vigneronne, rather than a typical modern California winemaker who spends little to no time in the vineyard. She also worked with farm animals, bees, and vegetables. Grape growing and winemaking aligns a vigneronne’s actions with the seasons. Patience in the vineyard means composting rather than adding synthetic fertilizers, allowing predatory insects the ability to outcompete pests rather than spraying insecticides, and doing proper handwork, such as pruning for vine longevity rather than high yields.

MARY-SESSILE L’INATTENDUE, CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE

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This family-owned-estate wine is not only made by a woman, but women have been farming, vinting, blending, marketing, and have been the backbone of the business for generations. Post World War I, Cecile, the great grandmother of the current operators, replanted the plot of vine at a location called les Ricordaines. Bernard, Cecile’s son, accompanied by his wife, Marie, took over farming the estate in 1974 and began marketing their Champagne. By the turn of the century, daughters Maude and Claire inherited a passion for nature, wine making, and oenology. In 2004, when Bernard and Marie retired, they left the family business to their girls. As a family, they created the brand "Mary Sessile" as a tribute to the woman who started their farm many years ago.