Women of Wine: The Rise of Women in the Global Wine Industry

Women of Wine: The Rise of Women in the Global Wine Industry

Women of Wine: The Rise of Women in the Global Wine Industry

Women of Wine: The Rise of Women in the Global Wine Industry


This inspiring, engagingly written book, with its personal approach and global scope, is the first to explore women's increasingly influential role in the wine industry, traditionally a very male-dominated domain. Women of Wine draws on interviews with dozens of leading women winemakers, estate owners, professors, sommeliers, wine writers, and others in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere to create a fascinating mosaic of the women currently shaping the wine world that also offers a revealing insiders' look at the wine industry.

To set the stage, Ann B. Matasar chronicles the historical barriers to women's participation in the industry, reviews post-World War II changes that created new opportunities for them, and pays tribute to a few extraordinary nineteenth-century women who left their mark on wine despite the odds against them. She then turns to her primary topic: an accessible discussion of women associated with some of the most prestigious wineries and institutions in both the Old and New Worlds that emphasizes their individual and collective contributions. Matasar also considers issues of importance to women throughout the business world including mentors, networking, marriage, family, education, self-employment versus the corporate life, and risk taking.


Throughout recorded history, wine has been a common thread running through innumerable cultures, religions, and nations. No business or industry reaches further back in history or is more global in scope than the wine industry. And no other industry has so resolutely excluded women from positions of influence for so long.

Despite the overwhelming male dominance of the wine industry, one hears repeatedly about individual women who have broken the barriers. Everyone seems astonished to discover a unique woman who has conquered age-old prejudices in order to become an exemplary winemaker, a winery owner, or a sommelier. But we have lacked an evaluation of the cumulative implications of women’s advancement in the world of wine—in other words, scholarship has focused on the trees but ignored the forest.

Individual women, like the separate tiles of a mosaic, do not reflect the whole scene. Standing back to look at the completed mosaic, one discovers a new and exciting phenomenon: a substantial and growing number of women who now influence the wine industry and hold positions of power within it. Although the industry remains male dominated, it is no longer able to exclude women or prohibit their advancement across the board. No list of today’s premier winery owners and wine-

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