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As well, these women have pushed the boundaries in terms of the quality of wines, sustainable farming, and wine-making practices. The following female owned wineries are amongst those pushing the envelope and advancing their position within a difficult market.
Female Owned Wineries
Hall Wines and Walt Wines (Napa Valley, California)
While discussing Female wine producers, one must mention Kathryn Walt Hall. Hall is the owner of both Hall Wines and Walt Wines. Kathryn’s introduction to the wine industry began in the 1970’s when she worked in her family’s Vineyards. While working for her family, she fantasized about owning a winery where she could showcase fine wines. Today, both Hall and Walt Wines are the epitome of winemaking excellence.
Kathryn set up her first winery, Walt Wines in the 1980’s. At first, Walt Wines produced Sauvignon Blac and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. However, over the years the portfolio has grown to include a number of other wines. Today, the winery is famous for its handcrafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the Walt Wines receives great reviews from top wine critics and sources, such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine Advocate.
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In fact, the wine has won many awards from wine critics and publications. Including, the San Francisco Chronicle 2011 Winemaker of the year award.
In 2003, Kathryn in partnership with her husband bought the historic St. Helena Bergfeld Winery. In July of the same year, the winery re-opened as HALL St. Helena. The winery combines the Halls passion for wine and art.
Since their inception, HALL St. Helena has produced exceptional wine. As a result, the wine brands earn high marks from wine critics and publications such as Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. In fact, 3 of the estate’s vintages received a perfect 100 rating from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Kathryn has a strong desire to protect the environment, so sustainable winemaking is important to her. Therefore, her estates focus on ECO-friendly practices and the use of innovative vineyard technology. As a result, her viticulture, St. Helena winery, tasting room, and production facility have all received LEED Gold certifications. In fact, when the St. Helena winery received the certification in 2009, it became the first winery in California to receive it.
Furthermore, in 2017 the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance certified the 3 estate vineyards. In the same year, members of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), elected Kathryn to be a member of its Board of Directors.
Corison Winery (Napa Valley, California)
In 1987, when Cathy Corison set up the Corison Winery and crafted her first Cabernet Sauvignon wine. She created her own label and joined an elite club of female wine producers. In fact, she was the first female winemaker and proprietor in the Napa Valley. Furthermore, her story helps to inspire aspiring female winemakers who want to be like her.
Cathy made wine long before she owned vineyards and space to produce wine. Therefore, she would buy barrels, grapes from prime vineyards and lease space in wineries to produce her wine. All that changed in 1995 when she bought Kronos Vineyard. Finally, she had an estate with a vineyard and space to build a winery. 20 years later, she bought a second vineyard (Sunbasket) very close to Corison Winery.
Viticulture at the Corison Winery aims at minimizing the negative impact on the environment. In fact, sustainability is one of the founding principles of the winery. As a result, the 2 vineyards belonging to the estate practice sustainable and organic farming.
Throughout the year, Cathy spends a lot of her time and energy working in the vineyards and the winery. She participates in every step of the winemaking process and ensures she tastes every barrel of wine she makes. Her drive comes from the understanding that the grapes make the wine. So, to make an exceptional wine, you must first harvest an exceptional grape. Although Corison Winery produces 4 wine brands, the estate is famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon wine. In fact, the wine has won many awards from wine critics and publications. Including, the San Francisco Chronicle 2011 Winemaker of the year award. Furthermore, for its elegant, timeless wine the winery ranks as one of the best Cabernet producers in the valley.
Wine brands from the Corison Winery are famous throughout the world for their consistency and longevity. As a result, Cathy is one of Napa Valley’s most, admired and respected female winemakers, amongst her staff, and peers. Also, her hard work and commitment have helped her achieve her goal. To make a Cabernet that combines power, elegance and a sense of place.
The 2 female owned wineries and the female wine producers running them have proved that women can be great winemakers. The two ladies are role models to many who have the desire to start their own female owned wineries.