As the world celebrates ‘International Women's Day’ this week, we wanted to shine a spotlight on six incredible women who have instrumental roles in the wineries around the world whose products we have the privilege of selling.
There are many other female role models we work with, that we haven’t mentioned today but who will certainly feature in our future comms. In the meantime, it’s been exciting to write about this special group, and we want to spread the word about their superb wines that we sell.
Please get in touch with any of our team for range details.
We’re very proud that Champagne Castelnau, one of the three fantastic Champagnes in our group’s portfolio, is led by winemaker Carine Bailleul.
Carine’s first experience with wine was in the school classroom, aged 16. Learning about the fermentation of Clairette de Die, a sparkling wine from the Rhône Valley region where Carine grew up, she was hooked! Many years later, at Champagne Castelnau, Carine tasted a magnum of 1990 Champagne, and realised at that moment she wanted to make Champagne, “the draw was very powerful, it was like a spell had been cast over me” says Carine. Carine was shortlisted for the IWC 2021 Sparkling Winemaker of the Year award when working with predecessor Elisabeth Sarcelet, and she has consistently achieved award wins at the highest level across the range of Castelnau Champagnes.
Maryline was born in Beaune and grew up at the foot of the vineyards. She has been working in the profession for 26 years and her greatest satisfaction is to see the pleasure of customers when they taste Patriarche wines and help them put names to aromas. Asked recently which traits were most instrumental to her success, Maryline replied, “You have to dare to try even if it is scary and if it is unconventional in the eyes of others. Be fair, be intellectually curious and work, work, work”.
Well said Maryline!
A self-proclaimed Cabernet lover and native to the Californian Central Coast, Megan joined the Smith & Hook team in 2011. Megan’s extensive experience at the winery and homegrown roots provide her with a keen insight for making wine from this region. The diversity in terroirs offer a broad spice rack of flavors and aromas to blend from, giving Megan the raw ingredients necessary to craft the best expression for Smith & Hook’s award-winning Bordeaux-inspired wines.
We are proud to sell the wonderful Rioja wines of Santalba - established 1964, a family business now in the hands of Laura Ijalba. For Laura, working in the business is much more than a career, it’s her entire roots, culture and lifestyle. Laura’s advice to women who would like work in wine, “It’s different from anything else. Wine invites us to socialise, it educates the senses and invites conversation. To make wine is easy but to make best quality wines you have to have passion as well as knowledge. Of course, I recommend women work in the wine industry … wine is about passion”.
Madeleine is 4th generation of the Herbeau family, producing one of Provence’s greatest secrets until Barebelle’s Fleuri rosé wine was named “Best rosé in the world 2021” by Decanter magazine, along with a whole host of other awards. Madeleine manages the commercial, communication, and strategic development at Barbebelle, with husband Valentin taking care of the vineyards – one of the oldest in Aix en Provence – consolidating the fantastic reputation of their wines and highlighting the qualities of the terroir.
Nathalie is our main contact managing the exports for Domaine des 3 Cellier. Together with husband Ludovic and brother-in-law Julien, incredibly, they represent the 8th generation of the Cellier family to make wines in the Rhone valley, since ancestors first planted vines in the mid 1600’s. We proudly sell Domaine des 3 Cellier’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape ‘Alchimie’ organic wines.