Today is International Women’s Day, and I’m celebrating by wearing red… AND drinking wine made by some amazing female winemakers from the Finger Lakes!
Let’s start at the beginning (wait, let me pour my wine first… ok). In 1983, Ann Raffetto accepted the position of winemaker at Wagner Vineyards. She graduated from University of California, Davis in 1977 with a degree in Enology, then moved to New York. At the time, the Finger Lakes only had a handful of wineries, all with male winemakers. When Raffetto accepted the position at Wagner, she became the first female winemaker in the region. Today, Raffetto continues to make fantastic wine at Wagner, constantly tweaking and changing her methods to craft a better wine each year.
Since then, women have continued to increase in numbers in the wine industry in the Finger Lakes. If you’re looking to celebrate International Women’s Day (or just the general awesomeness of women), here are some of the female winemakers who are working in our region:
Beth Witt, assistant winemaker at Anthony Road
Nancy Irelan, winemaker at Red Tail Ridge Winery
Jenna LaVita, winemaker at Ventosa Vineyard
Marti Macinski, winemaker at Standing Stone Vineyards
Liz Leidenfrost, winemaker at Leidenfrost Vineyards
Nova Cadamatre, winemaker at 240 Days
Katey Larwood, winemaker at Keuka Lake Vineyard
Lindsay Stevens, winemaker at Treleaven
Alex Doniger, assistant winemaker at Hector Wine Company
Looking to learn more about these women? Christine Campbell wrote a great article on some of these women from 2015 that is still relevant today, and Evan Dawson shared the stories of some of them as well in the New York Cork Report.
Tonight, I’m enjoying Red Tail Ridge’s 2016 Sans Oak Chardonnay.
See: Reflective gold color
Smell: Pear, green apple, and stone.
Sip: When sipping the flavors become warmer, like cooked pear and apple. It has a lighter palate than you’d expect and a bright acid that makes you want another sip. There’s a nice stone and mineral flavor the lingers, along with bright citrus.
Winery: Red Tail Ridge Winery
Region/Sub-Region: Finger Lakes/Seneca Lake
Wine: Sans Oak Chardonnay
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay