The majority of wine consumers (over 55%) are women, so who better to craft a fine vintage? While men have dominated the industry, rising stars are changing the landscape. I was mentored by viticulturist Lucie Morton, and she inspired me to mentor, empower, and collaborate with other women in the wine industry. "Women and wine" is more than a stereotype: we are the wine artists the world has been lacking.
Having grown up with a fine wine collector, I developed an appreciation for the art at an early age. My interest in vineyards and winemaking, along with my authorship of the Middleburg Virginia American Viticultural petition, allowed me to hone my skill in identifying great terroir like Spanish Springs Vineyard. In addition to building my wine business, I aspire to elevate and empower other women to be successful both in the wine industry and in other aspects of their lives.
I'm gratified to be a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, an invitation-only membership association of women in the fine wine, food and hospitality industries. LDEI creates new female leaders in our industries by providing scholarships and mentorship programs. I'm proud of the fact that seventy percent of every dollar spent in the production of Oceano's wines goes to women- and minority-owned businesses via programs such as this one.
One of the highlights of our winemaking journey thus far was being certified as a "Women's Business Enterprise" by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. WBENC is the largest organization of it’s type in the United States, and a leading advocate for female entrepreneurs and business owners. Another highlight was rising to the level of corporate member and achieving "Certified Woman Owned" status from Women of the Vines & Spirits, another group that elevates the accomplishments of women in the wine and spirits industry.
In addition to the aforementioned associations, Oceano is honored to partner with other pro-female associations and charities to benefit women and girls affected by various injustices. We are committed to fighting socioeconomic disparity, political injustice, neglect and abuse. We also advocate for medical care and housing for socioeconomically marginalized groups. It is my belief that by working together, we can make the world a kinder, better place. Some of the worthy organizations Oceano is proud to support are:
The changing landscape of the wine industry is as refreshing as a glass of one of our cool California SLO coast wines. The inaugural Wonder Women of Wine Conference in 2019 brought female winemakers and wine professionals from all over the globe together to learn from and empower each other. Professional organizations like Women of the Vine & Spirits focus on action to create a more diverse and inclusive industry. When we focus on equity, everyone wins.
I encourage you to consider women owned wine businesses when you shop! Your purchases will help propel our industry towards more diversity, which in turn will lead to wider variety and more choices for you as a wine consumer. We all win when we work together!