slides: Meet the Multi-Tasking Moms Making Great Wine in Oregon
Saturday, May 02, 2015
See Slides Below: 4 Multi-Tasking Moms Making Great Wine in Oregon
There is no doubt that the wine industry has traditionally been dominated by men. But it is becoming more and more common to see women winemakers and assistant winemakers in Oregon’s wineries. And they’re making great wine that we’re thrilled to feature this month at Cellar 503 as part of our celebration of Mother’s Day.
Winemaking isn’t unique from any other field. There are still challenges for working moms. Men often have the luxury of focusing on their career while women juggle work and childcare responsibilities. But these four winemakers have used their collaboration and creativity to bring together their passion for wine and their love of family. These women honor their role as a caregiver to their children, but still make time to create some excellent wine.
Carrie Wynkoop is the founder of Cellar 503, a new wine club featuring unique, high quality, affordable wines that represent the full range of great Oregon wine. Cellar 503 is for anyone who loves Oregon wine and wants to explore.
Related Slideshow: 4 Multi-Tasking Moms Making Great Wine in Oregon
Sensitivity. Intuition. Collaboration. Listening. Multitasking. Words that are often associated with women – especially moms. In the winemaking industry, these traits are particularly helpful and these four women winemakers have them in spades.
Pam Walden, an urban winemaker and owner of Willful Wines, fell into the wine business backwards. After a promising career at the BBC was derailed by layoffs, this London native found herself waitressing in a small restaurant in France's Dordogne region. One day, a budding winemaker – an American – walked in. Pam fell in love and followed him back to Oregon, supporting his dream of opening his own winery.
Helping out in the cellar, working with the grape-growers, and assisting with blending gave Pam the hands-on training she needed – and a passion for making wine. Now with her own label, Pam just signed a lease on a new production facility in Portland that will allow her to make all of her wine in town, close to her sons, Cato and Samson, rather than splitting her efforts between Portland and the Valley.
This month, Cellar 503 is featuring Pam’s Jezebel White, a crisp, aromatic white wine with just a hint of sweetness. Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris are co-fermented in a stainless steel tank and left on the lees for a gorgeous mouthfeel. It’s excellent on warm summer days or with spicy Thai food!
For Rachael Martin, winemaker and co-owner of Red Lily Vineyards, winemaking is truly a family affair. Rachael’s husband Les worked in the hospitality industry for years and on their frequent travels to Europe they fell in love with Spanish Tempranillos. When they found the future home of Red Lily just outside of Jacksonville, Oregon, they knew what would come next.
Rachael, Les, and their two kids moved to the small town and built Red Lily – named after the rare red flower found in the neighboring Siskiyou Mountains. The site was perfect to indulge their love of Tempranillo, including Life of Riley, a Tempranillo blend named for their son Riley; and Lily Girl, a Tempranillo Rosé, named for their daughter Lily.
Our current favorite is their Red Blanket blend -- made with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, giving this opulent red an exotic spice aroma with underlying dark berry and hints of coffee.
Like a lot of moms, Anna Matzinger found herself stretched too thin. Two kids, a full-time job (as winemaker at Archery Summit), and trying to start Matzinger Davies Wines with her husband, Michael Davies (winemaker at Rex Hill).
Trying to do it all wasn’t working for her or her family. So, in 2013 she left her day job to focus on her kids, Otto and Elsa, and her passion, Matzinger Davies Wines. And it’s working out great – both for Anna and her family; and for all of us, who get to taste the fruits of her labor.
Anna and Michael’s Gorgeous Savvy Sauvignon Blanc is just that: gorgeous. It opens with aromas of citrusy lemon peel and key lime pie, with a beautiful floral and herbal quality balanced out with a hint of brineyness that makes this white mouth-wateringly satisfying.
The vines at the family farm had been left to tend themselves, overgrown and ignored. So when Dana Blizzard successfully tried her hand at amateur wine-making, she knew what would come next.
She took over the property, replanted some vines and drastically pruned others. Now, Blizzard Wines is building a reputation for great wine – though it’s still made in the garage of Dana’s parents’ house. A new production facility and tasting room are coming soon.
Her two young children, Carmen and August, often accompany her to their grandparents’ house and are already figuring out how to start grandpa’s tractor. Dana’s love of wine and love for her family has led to the promise of a multi-generational winery.
This month, Cellar 503 members are enjoying the Blizzard Wines Syrah, made in a traditional French style and co-fermented with a small amount of Viognier to bring out the beautiful floral nature of this big, red wine.