To commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th 2016, we thought we’d look at the role of women in wine. It’s a popular belief that the wine industry is dominated my grey haired men – but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Last year saw the inaugural Australian ‘Women in Wine’ event, a competition to celebrate women in all areas of the wine industry. The shortlist of finalists included some of Australia’s most innovative and creative talent – a great reflection on the role of women in today’s wine industry.
Another Australian organisation celebrating women in wine is the ‘Fabulous Ladies Wine Society’ – a vibrant community across Australia to encourage more women to be involved in all aspects of wine from the grape to the glass, which hosts regular events. ArtWine Estate – one of Merchants founding wineries – is hosting an event with the FLWS in May this year at their stunning cellar door in the Adelaide Hills. (click here for more details).
One of the key tools in making and enjoying wine is a good sense of smell and taste. In the wine industry it’s a long held belief that women have a more acute sense of smell and taste, and there certainly seems to be good science behind this (click here to read more). As many women will know, during pregnancy the sense of smell in particular can become exceptionally sensitive (we know drinking wine during pregnancy is not recommended, but try smelling one of your favourite wines during this time and see how much more aromatic it seems!).
Another aspect of the wine industry that is vital to making great wines is attention to detail. Every wine is the result of hundreds of small steps, many seemingly insignificant at the time, but all having their own impact on the final wine. From personal experience, most women winemakers are much, much better at managing this level of detail than the majority of their male counterparts!
And its not only in the 21st century where women have had such a major impact on the wine industry. In the 19th century many of the driving forces behind today’s leading Champagne houses in France were women. Many women were left as widows as war ravaged Europe, and names such as Madame Barbe-Nicole Clicquot and Louise Pommery have become legendary in the world of fine wines for both their technical and business acumen (click here for more information).
So join us at Merchants as we raise a glass to celebrate all the women involved in wine around the world on International Women’s Day.