Looking to be inspired for Mother's Day? We think you will love learning about these women in the wine business.
After you enjoy reading about these women, use code "MOM15" and buy her a dozen of our finest Rosé's...a perfect start to the warmer weather and sunnier days ahead!
Like many Latin immigrants in California, the founders of Ceja Vineyards worked as field laborers. Amelia Moran Ceja grew up helping her father in the vineyards of Napa Valley.
The first Mexican American woman to head an American winery, she dreamed of owning a vineyard. She and her husband bought land in Carneros in 1983 and launched their label in 1999. Ceja promoted Latin culture and wine when no other companies would.
Daughter Dalia Ceja Swedelson works with her mom as marketing director in the family-owned business. Her passion project promotes pairing wine with authentic Mexican cuisine.
Robin Lail is a living representation of Napa Valley’s history. Her father owned the famous Inglenook winery founded in 1879. Robert Mondavi taught her the business, and she went on to co-found top producers Merryvale Vineyards and Dominus Estate.
With her family’s legacy in mind, Robin started Lail Vineyards in 1995 with her daughters, Erin and Shannon. Erin later founded Honeydew Napa Valley, a luxury estate management and entertainment company. Shannon had a long film career working with Francis Ford Coppola and creating other film projects.
Trefethen Family Vineyards
In 1973, Janet Trefethen co-founded a family-owned estate winery. Her brand building, sales, and marketing expertise took her around the world. She’s been instrumental in promoting Napa Valley globally.
Daughter Hailey helps manage the vineyard and make the wine. Protecting the family legacy, she led the restoration of the 2014 earthquake-damaged winery building. Her efforts also extend to the culinary program and sustainability projects.
Heidi Barret blended the science of her father with the art of her mother, becoming one of the most elite winemakers in Napa Valley.
Her famous wines Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Grace Family, and Paradigm earned perfect 100-point scores. A record-setting 6-liter bottle of Screaming Eagle sold for $500,000 at the Napa Valley wine auction in 2000.
In starting La Sirena, she wanted more freedom of expression. Daughter Remi joined in 2010, handling sales and marketing. Daughter Chelsea, a U.C. Davis graduate, works as assistant winemaker for Joel Gott in Napa. She and mom partnered on the projects Amuse Bouche, Au Sommet, and Aviatrix.
A rare wine company in Napa Valley, Lorenza Wines makes only rosé. This passion project from Melinda Kearney and daughter, Michèle Lorenza Ouellet, began in 2008. Melinda, with deep wine experience around the valley, runs the day-to-day operations.
Mom and daughter wanted to create a low-alcohol complex and dry rosé, like in Provence. They source grapes from some of the area’s oldest remaining vineyards: Bechthold and Spenker Ranch.
The low-alcohol trend catapulted the brand. Seizing the moment, they added a sparkling version and aluminum packaging for portability.
Château Léoville Barton and Langoa-Barton
History runs deep in Bordeaux, and the Barton family dynasty does, too. After 300 years, Lilian Barton heads an empire, which remains family-owned, rare in today’s Bordeaux.
Holdings include the famous Saint Julien estate vineyards Château Léoville Barton and Langoa-Barton and the merchant business (trading house), Les Vins Fins Anthony Barton.
Lilian added another estate, Château Mauvesin Barton, where her enologist daughter Mélanie is technical director (head winemaker.) Few women hold this position at top estates in Bordeaux.
Château Chauvin and Château Lynch Bages
Sylvie Cazes accomplished much in her long career:
- President of Bordeaux’s “Foundation for the Culture and Civilizations of Wine”, which manages the wine museum, la Cité du Vin
- Board of directors of the Conseil des Grands Crus Classés en 1855
- First female President of Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux
- Manager of Château Lynch-Bages
- Owner of Château Chauvin and the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Chapon Fin
- Owner of a luxury wine tourism agency, Bordeaux Saveurs
Women have always run Château Chauvin in St. Emilion, which Sylvie purchased in 2014. A family project, she and daughter Julie Regimbeau run the business together. Julie’s experience in marketing and sales blends well with Sylvie’s estate management expertise.
Business runs through the blood of Corinne Mentzelopoulous. Her Greek ancestors traveled the world building railroads, hotels, and grocery chains.
After buying Château Margaux in 1977, her father died in 1980, leaving Corinne in charge. She took control and grew the business to $1 billion.
Daughter Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos owns a London wine bar called Clarette. She joined Château Margaux in 2012 and will eventually assume responsibility for the estate.
Trombetta Family Wines
Initially making wine at home, Rickey Trombetta and her husband started Trombetta Family Wines with their daughter Erica in 2010. Erica became head winemaker in 2014.
The two make a strong team. Rickey honed her expertise in marketing and public relations at Paul Hobbs and Kendall-Jackson. Erica learned winemaking at Viña Cobos in Mendoza, Argentina.
Wilson Artisan Wines
Diane and Ken Wilson grew grapes in Dry Creek Valley in the early 1980s. Today, their holding company, Wilson Artisan Wines, owns 11 wineries in Northern California and two inns in Healdsburg. Diane made wine without formal training, using her instincts and learning on the way.
Daughter Victoria studied Environmental Sciences, becoming a passionate steward of the family vineyards. Today, Victoria makes wine for two of the family’s properties, Matrix Winery and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.
Fattorie Romeo del Castello Mount Etna
Mom Rosanna Romeo and daughter Chiara Vigo reintroduced winemaking to the family property on Sicily’s Mt. Etna. Rosanna’s father made wine, but her husband did not. She returned to it only after his death.
Chiara holds a Ph.D. in art and published a book about wine labels. That research kindled a desire to go back to the family winery in 2007.
Today, mother and daughter produce world-class wines from local grapes in lava-lined vineyards.
Masciarelli Tenute Agricola
Winemaker Gianni Masciarelli died in 2008, leaving his wife, Marina Cvetic, with a business and three children. Today, she runs the winery with her oldest daughter Miriam Lee Masciarelli, who became head winemaker in 2012.
The women increased production, entered new markets, and added products such as olive oil and grappa. Hospitality includes a hotel housed in a 17th-century castle.
Marina has received many accolades for her commitment to the Abruzzo wine industry and female leadership. Women make up 54% of the company’s employees.
Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Bethel Heights Vineyard
Pat Dudley co-owns Bethel Heights along with her husband, who oversees the vineyards. She holds the titles of President and General Manager.
Daughter Mimi, a trained botanist and ecologist, returned home as winegrower and co-owner in 2005. In 2016, she opened near-by Hope Well Vineyard. Mom and daughter work with other local winemakers on environmental issues.
Daughter Jessie Casteel represents Bethel Heights as co-owner and Ambassador.
With the arrival of Spring, it’s time to celebrate Mother’s Day with this delightful 6-pack of rosé. Mom will love these wines and be thankful she has more than one bottle to share.
Big Hammer Wines encourages wine lovers to explore wines made by women around the world.