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Aug 5, 2009 07:54 PM

Women vintners or vineyard owners?

I'm traveling to Santa Rosa in September for a wedding and will have a day or two to check out the food and wine in the area. I'd really like to visit vineyards owned by women or where the winemaker is a woman. Any suggestions?

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  1. Merry Edwards should be your no. 1 stop. Make a reservation. Go for the Pinot, leave with 3 bottles of the sauvignon blanc. Enjoy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PAHound

      Yes, double down on that sauvignon blanc. But don't leave any pinot behind either!

      1. re: Leadbelly

        Merry Edwards, Carol Shelton, Teresa Heredia (Phelps new winey in Freestone).

    2. Third the Merry Edwards recommendations. Her Pinots are extremely well made. I especially enjoyed the Klopp Ranch and Meredith Estate Pinots. I will dissent here however on the Sauvignon Blanc. The recent 2008 vintage I tried was very flabby. I was actually a little shocked when I tried it after reading all the accolades it has received. Not very good in my opinion. But the Pinots were outstanding.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

        I'm still working through a case of the 2007- have given a lot of the bottles as gifts and gotten tremendous feedback. I haven't migrated to the 2008 yet...did you try the '07 and the 08 is inferior? Or you're just not a fan of her white?

        1. re: PAHound

          I never tried the 07. Just the 08. And the two people I tasted it with agreed that it lacked acidity to the point of flabbyness. Its unfortunate I couldn't try the 07 for a point of comparison.

          And to edit my post above, after reviewing my tasting notes, it was the Flax and Meredith Estate wines that I enjoyed the most. The Klopp Ranch had a touch too much Brett for my taste.

      2. Back when I was writing about wine, concentrating on women wine makers was a specialty of mine. This was my list (although a few years old) so there are probably a lot of changes:

        Alban, Lorraine - Alban
        Belaire, Kristin - Honig
        Belcher, Sandy - Arns
        Bonaccors, Jenne- Bonnaccorsi
        Cakebread, Mary - Spottwoode
        Clendenen, Mary - Cold Heaven
        Clifton, Chrystal - Palmina
        Corsison, Cathy - Corison
        Crane, Eileen - Domaine Carneros
        Culler, Karen - Culler
        Curran, Kristin - Sea Smoke
        Cyrot, Danielle - St. Clement
        Davis, Jill - Cole Bailey
        Edwards, Merry - Merry Edwards
        Etheridge, Damaris Deere - Landmark
        Fourmeaux, Marketta - Chateau Potelle
        Gallo, Gina - Gallo
        Gehrs, Jennifer - Vixen
        Gotti, Erika - Merus
        Graf, MaryAnn - Simi (historical reference)
        Green, Patricia - Patricia Green
        Handley, Mila - Handley
        Heisey, Ashley - Long Meadow Ranch
        Huneeus, Valaria - Quintessa
        Inman, Kathleen - Inman Wines
        Johnson, Julie - Tres Sabores
        Joseph, Kathy - Fiddlehead
        Kennedy, Kathryn - Kathryn Kennedy (son, Marty) has taken over)
        Klein, Mia - Selene
        Laks, Julieann - Cakebread
        Lee, Dianna - Novy
        Lolonis, Maureen - Lolonis
        Long, Zelma - Long
        McCorckle, Tasha - Whitethorn
        Meredith, Carole - Lagier Meredith
        Newton, SuHua - Newton
        Ottoson, Sally - Pacific Star
        Peschon, Fracois - Paschon
        Peterson Barrett, Heidi - Showket
        Sawyer Lindquist, Luisa - Verdad
        Selby, Susie - Selby
        Shelton, Carol - Carol Shelton
        Shurleff, Denise - Cabria
        Spelletich, Barbara - Spelletich
        Stackhouse, Melissa - La Crema
        Starr, Pam - Crocker & Starr
        Steel, Nancy - Perry Creek
        Sterling, Joy - Ironhorse
        Storres, Pam - Storres
        Tanner, Lane - Lane Tanner
        Torres, marimar - Marimar Estate
        Trotta, Linda - Gundlach Bundschu
        Turley, Helen - Martinelli
        van Staaveren, Margo - Chateau St. Jean
        Wesselman, Amy - Westry
        Wong, Vanella - Peay Vineyards

        3 Replies
        1. re: CarrieWas218

          Great list! But it is not possible to meet these winemakers at every one of these wineries. In addition to Merry Edwards, who does take appointments, I'd recommend trying to visit Kathleen Inman (Inman wines) and Vanessa Wong (Peay Vineyards).

          1. re: Paul H

            Peay has a very unusual style, that I don't particularly care for. I don't know I would recommend it without knowing more about the OP's taste.

            1. re: SteveG

              It is restrained in the style of Burgundy, but still ripe enough to be recognizably Californian. They get uniformly high scores from Burghound. Inman also make a more restrained lower ripeness style wine.

        2. Woodenhead is half-owned by a woman. The Pinots & Zins are some of the best in the area:

          1. Thanks to everybody for your suggestions so far. I'll work with these to come up with an initial list, then send it out for more feedback!