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International Women's Day 2019


International Women’s Day is here! And it’s sunny too - at least where I am- so all the better! :grinning: :sun_with_face:

I thought it would be nice to hear if anyone got any particular woman they think had contributed to the world of wine, or perhaps nothing to do with wine - but still would like to mention her?

I can’t profess to know much about women in the wine world, but there is one woman I read a lot about - and seek out the wines of, and that’s Susana Balbo from Argentina. In interviews she always comes across as a positive, hardworking and determined woman, who really helped to change Argentina’s winemaking, at a time when there were virtually no women about to offer a role model.

This month there is also a fascinating interview in The Wine Enthusiast, where several female winemakers from Montalcino (one of whose wines TWS stock) talk about their challenges in a very male-dominated environment. Apparently they make some of the best Brunello out there.

For a non-wine related woman/girl, I’ll always vote for my daughter :smiley: The best girl I could have ever asked for, and a fantastic human being all round.

Would love to hear your suggestions! :grin: :+1:


In B4 “Katie Jones” :upside_down_face:

I shall mention my friend Emily, not only the best taster I knew when we worked at Vinopolis together, but she writes the best tasting notes and had a great initiative at one point called Women, know your wine!


There’s Jancis, of course. I admire her for many things, not least her unflaggingly independent reviews. I particularly enjoyed her story on Radio 4 about how she went head to head with Robert Parker… You can still listen to it:


Decanter’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year goes to Becky Wasserman the long-time Burgundy champ:


Ah yes! A great article! :+1: She is one resilient woman!


My wife - for putting up with how much money I have spent on wine in the past decade…


One French domaine sprang to mind immediately. In my drinking lifetime it has always been run by women and that’s Domaine Weinbach in Alsace. Run today by Catherine Faller and previously by her late mother Colette. Sadly Catherine’s sister Laurence, who was winemaker for many years, passed away far too soon a couple of years ago.

They all helped elevate the estate’s reputation to where it is today, as one of the pinnacles of Alsace, and indeed, world wine in general. Sadly for me their wines are a very rare treat due to the prices they command.

There are some great female winemakers in Burgundy too, Ghislaine Barthod came to mind but her wines are even more out of reach ( her Bourgogne is very nice though ! ).

Many southern hemisphere producers have wonderful female winemakers too. Andrea Mullineux in South Africa is a favourite. Chief winemaker at Yalumba in Australia, Louisa Rose, is in charge of a production of around one million cases a year with very good quality throughout the whole range.

When I first started drinking wine female winemakers / vignerons were rare. Today not so much. Hopefully in another twenty years the ratio between men and women involved at the sharp end of winemaking will be more like 50:50.

Oh, shouldn’t forget Katie Jones in the Languedoc either !


Great call! We’re blessed with some excellent female wine writers at the moment - I really enjoy reading Victoria Moore, Fiona Beckett and Joanna Simon as well. I was lucky enough to meet Joanna at the press tasting, and she was an absolute pleasure.

On the winemaking side, I’ll raise a glass to Nadia Curto - I’ve had a few of her wines over the last year or so and enjoyed them immensely!

Mrs H scoops the big prize for me though. Eldest daughter was sick several times through the night, while the youngest needed a couple of nighttime feeds. Mrs H packed me off downstairs with a sleeping bag to get much needed sleep ahead of a busy day of work, and dealt with the chaos herself. I won the game of life when we got married, I think. :heart:


My wife’s response to learning it was Intl Women’s Day: " That’s every day - you can have today…"


What a better accolade can a woman have?!! :+1::+1:

Ha ha! A woman after my own heart.


Sue Hodder from Wynns makes some of the best (if not THE BEST) wines in the Coonawarra. Extremely long lived they are also.
My Mum, sister and wife for varying reasons and they can all put away a fair amount of plonk as well.


I will always remember Jilly Goolden on BBC’s ‘Food and Drink’ programme. Her enthusiasm and wild descriptions are memorable, even 35+ years later. Definitely started some thought about wine with me.


Our good friend Paul met and subsequently married a gorgeous young lady called Jo in the summer of 2016.
Two Days after their wedding they discovered Paul had a large tumour and he nearly died as he had a rupture. Jo was an absolute inspiration in how she handled everything and supported Paul through all the rough times.
Paul went through lots of treatments and we all thought he was going to kick it . Long story short he passed away in November 2017 aged 36 leaving his amazing wife Jo and their 3 year old behind along with all his devastated friends and family.
Before Paul died he with Jo being the driving force, set up a charity called Be your own hero (BYOH). They wanted to provide a “bag of sunshine” to terminally ill patients and families and provide them with all the information they would need on their journey.

Jo has been the most amazing fundraiser, organiser, Mummy and all round superstar and is now bringing relief and help to other families who are going through what she did. She has put her own grief aside to go out and help others, one of the most selfless things anyone could do.
She is my hero and I’m proud to call her a friend.


Maria-Teresa Mascarello certainly comes to mind as an exceptional woman in the world of wine. A staunch protector of the traditional ways in Barolo and works hard to lobby against the vested interests of some of the big players.


Can’t not mention Susana Balbo - this interview by my colleague @Rosie hopefully goes some way to show why.

A very happy IWD to all


A bit off topic but thought it funny.

A friend sent me a text earlier regarding something she’d seen on TV this morning . To quote…

It’s International Women’s Day and what does ( name withheld ) have featured on her show ?

Handbags for Barbie Dolls, I despair !


Producers - Monique and Tessa Laroche at Dom aux Moines in Savennieres - great wines and one of the best tastings ever from Monique

Press + industry - Jancis Robinson and Jilly Goolden for their sparking of an interest

I’ve just come back from a IWD event at Natwest (I’m a mentor on their Accelerator programme) I was one of 4 men in the room…great to hear two amazing stories of some entrepreneurs

But…we are in the 21st century - sex, colour, race, religion, sexuality etc shouldn’t be the reason for the way people are treated - it should be on their actions and abilities.


She’s definitely one of my heroines! :+1::+1:


The Cullen winery in Margaret River WA has been, and is, driven by wonderful females (Diana Magadelen and Vanya). To be at the top of their game in such a male dominated swaggering country nods to their qualities and single mindedness.

They’ve pioneered biodynamic wines and their chardonnays consistently beat Burgundian equivalents.


Must have been why they kicked me out :wink: