I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to know amazing women. I am lucky to be joining an industry that respects hardworking women. I hope to raise a woman, one day.
The concept of a single day to celebrate single categories of humans tends to sit kind of funny with me. There is a feeling that the particular day is the only day that we think of these particular people. Sure, there is some truth behind that. Although, if we continue to honour and respect these people every other day, then I am more ok with the idea of international X day. Today happens to be international women’s day. What a fabulous day.
Over the past year or so, I have been thinking about my role as a woman. What is my responsibility here? Do I have to struggle and break boundaries? Do I have to pave the way for women to follow? Do I have to do things that make people proud of me? Is now a good time to be entering the wine industry, as a woman? I believe the answer to all of these questions is yes. There is no time to think any other way.
To keep my thoughts organised (more or less haha), I’ll keep to women in the wine industry. There are a lot of them. However, similar to almost every other industry, these women are largely unsung heros. You don’t often hear of stellar female somms, or picture a winemaker and picture a woman. There is a longstanding cultural bias. Of course there is. This surely isn’t due to a lack of talent, but rather, a lack of recognition. This has to be tied to an outdated wine culture of snobbery, pretentiousness and well, straight out sexism. Thank god that is starting to change.
If you know where to look, there are several female voices in the world of wine. More and more are coming to my attention each day. It’s exciting! From wine communication, wine making, wine education, we are seeing the well deserved rise of the female perspective. And it’s a great one! I could list dozens of women who are inspirational for me. These are students of wine, small business owners and women taking family legacies and bringing them into the future. Women in wine are goddamn fearless. They are carving out a space that the world of wine needs. Women are brining wine to the people. That is, you will be hard-pressed to find a snobby wine woman, you will be hard-pressed to find a woman who doesn’t want to teach you a little something, or hear your perspective. The female energy of open mindedness, communication and sharing, is exactly what wine needs to move forward. Times are freakin tough and women in wine are helping strip back the BS from wine and keep it relevant. For that alone, I am grateful for the wonderful women in wine.
Who am I currently crushing on? Well, as my wine journey was born in Paris, most of my inspirations happen to be Paris based. Did I tell you I love Paris? It’s a city of opportunity and badass wine women. The wine isn’t bad either ha! To name a few, I’m loving hear more from:
- Tanisha Townsend, of Girl Meets Glass.
- wine.by.alex, an educational Instagrammer
- The ladies who own and run a great wine bar in Paris, cave aux lions.
These women have shown that a career in wine doesn’t have to look like one thing in particular. They are each very much doing their own thing. They are a fantastic reminder that we have to stay true to what it is we enjoy and how we want to spend each day. They are 100% themselves and are ready to welcome new wine lovers into their worlds. No BS, no closed doors, just passion, energy and an open mind. Gone are the days of a wine career meaning one of a small selection of roles. The industry is opening up a bright horizon of opportunities. Women are here for it.
If you do one thing on international women’s day, check out Marissa A. Ross. A wine writer, podcaster and general lover of natural wine, Marissa is everything that is right about the wine industry. Every day she is out here expressing her opinions, unapologetically, and sharing conversation with anyone who wants to show up. For me, it is her clarity of self and sense of purpose that really makes her writing important. She has things to say and I am listening. Perhaps most significantly, Ross was instrumental in shedding light on sexual assault in the US wine scene. Thank god she used her voice to expose unacceptable behaviour. Read one of her work, it’s an eye opener.
Overall, I feel that the world of wine is glowing up, slowly but surely, to an exciting future. There is of course a long way to go, but I am confident that with the number of strong women already working hard to change the culture, and more women using their voices each day, things are heading in the right direction. We just need to make sure that things keep heading that way. I am ready. Cheers to the women of wine. xx