11 Women-Made Wines to Try on International Women's Day

All across the globe, women will come together in honor of International Women's Day on Sunday. Many countries and cities will hold rallies and marches in support of this year's theme, #EachForEqual, which aims to eradicate the gender disparities and biases women face on the job and in day-to-day life.

In the world of wine, gender inequalities have been historically high. The industry, from the vineyards to the boardroom, has traditionally functioned under the guidance of men, with many maintaining top positions as head winemakers and CEOs. While a 2018 report by Red Cabinet—a nonprofit wine education organization consisting of female wine executives—found that only 13 percent of California wineries were helmed by women, a few companies are doing their part to close that gender gap.

"When we choose people for our winemaking and tasting room teams, we choose people who get stuff done. We don't select based on gender [but] solely based on skill set and chemistry. Essentially, we're leading by example and being gender-blind, trying to live the reality we hope to see not only elsewhere in the wine world but in the country at large," Chrissy Wittman, director of winemaking at The Prisoner Wine Co. (TPWC), told Newsweek.

Wittman's winemaking team consists entirely of women, an effort she says happened naturally as she began building her company and encountering women with a passion for grapes and no problems with getting their hands dirty. But TPWC isn't the only winery leading the charge for women. See below a list of 11 wines produced by women.

13 Women-Made Wines to Try on International Women's Day
Celebrate International Women's Day on March 8 by indulging in wines made by female winemakers. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Domaine Valentin Zusslin Crémant d'Alsace Brut Zero Sans Souffre NV, $25

It's not often that a woman oversees a domaine—a vineyard that makes and bottles wine from its own grapes—and yet Marie Zusslin does just that as the winemaker and owner of Domaine Valentin Zusslin in Alsace, France. The 13-generation winemaker has helped expand her family's mark on the wine world, as well as the organic farming at the company's vineyards. The Crémant, a dry sparkling white wine, is just one of the many bottles under the Zusslin umbrella, but it's a total standout, ripe with apricot and peach notes and a slight mineral finish.

McBride Sisters 2019 Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, $16

This wine is crisp, citrusy and acidic, like grapefruit and nectarine-flavored popsicles fresh out the freezer on the hottest of summer days. This is what Robin and Andréa McBride, the owners and winemakers of McBride Sisters Collection, have created with their signature sauvignon blanc. It's the perfect cool-down at the end of a day, especially one that may be filled with rallying for what's right with your lady friends.

Prelius Vermentino, Maremma 2018, $18

Federica Stianti Mascheroni runs the show at her vineyard in Tuscany's Maremma region in Italy. Her wines capture the essence of the hilly area's history—the vineyards sit on a site that was once a coastal lake, lending a fresh minerality to the juice produced there. While the Vermentino is racing with floral and citrus aromas, on the palate it is refreshing and refined, bursting with juicy fruit that lingers in the finish.

Robert Mondavi 2018 Fumé Blanc Napa Valley, $23

They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, and Geneviève Janssens may be living proof of it. As director of winemaking at the renowned Robert Mondavi Winery, Janssens has succeeded in not only maintaining the winery's superior legacy established by her father, Robert Mondavi, but also in producing even more reserves that will stand the test of time for American wine. The estate's Fumé Blanc—a refreshingly vibrant blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon—is just one of the many staples that exude the royal nature of Robert Mondavi wines.

Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley 2017 Chardonnay, $39

In 2017, her first year as the head winemaker at Cakebread Cellars, Stephanie Jacobs produced a vintage chardonnay so stellar that three years later people are still raving about it. The white wine incorporates all the qualities chardonnay lovers enjoy the most: a subtly floral aroma enhanced by the smooth acidity of yellow delicious apples, lemon and vanilla, which coats the mouth with a lingering minerality.

Smoke Tree 2019 Rosé, $16

A third-generation winemaker, Anne Dempsey has helped bring the many nuances of rosé to the forefront with her pink blend consisting of zinfandel, grenache, mourvèdre and syrah. The fruity and fresh flavors of Smoke Tree's rosé are balanced out with a zingy acidity that fully articulates the impact Northern California's varying landscape and climate can make on a wine. It rids American rosé of those one-dimensional perceptions that once plagued the category and region many years ago.

2016 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, $35,

For the first time in its 630-year history, Marchesi Antinori Wines, one of the oldest and finest wine companies in Italy and the world, is helmed by women: Albiera, Allegra and Alessia Antinori, who represent the 26th generation of the winemaking family. As the brand's new leaders, the women have managed to set the bar and take the company to new heights by releasing new vintages and products that are enjoyed by drinkers from all walks of life. The Chianti Classico Riserva is just one example of the many excellent offerings in Marchesi Antinori's empire. The wine is structured and tannic, with earthy notes of spice, blackberries and foliage, while its elegance is accentuated by its refined and polished finish.

The Prisoner Wine Co. Red Blend, $49

Chrissy Wittman wasn't making a concerted effort to employ a female-dominated team at the Prisoner Wine Co., where she serves as director of winemaking. It just so happened that she found an abundance of women who wanted to deliver the best possible wine to consumers. They did just that with the winery's signature Red Blend, made with zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, syrah and charbono grapes. The flavor profile exudes notes of raspberry, boysenberry and pomegranate, splashed with vanilla, but overall it's a lusciously bold wine that tastes like a major achievement after a long, hard day of work.

Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $63

Brittany Sherwood is the woman in charge of Heitz Cellar. As the director of winemaking, she oversees wine production, from the vine to the bottle and every step in between. The winery's medium-bodied cabernet sauvignon consists of grapes that Sherwood selects directly from the company's own vineyards before they age in oak. The result is a juice rich with red plum and black currant flavor at first sip, and it's complemented by a savory and herbal finish.

Chêne Bleu Abélard 2010, $87

Winery Principal Nicole Rolet isn't just pushing the needle forward for sustainability and social responsibility at the French winery. She's doing it for the entire wine community. She founded a global think tank, Fine Minds 4Fine Wines, in 2017 to help shape the industry's ethical and sustainable future. That passion for better wines of tomorrow spills over into the many wines produced by Chêne Bleu today, including the richly complex Abélard. Brilliant with a character that intertwines notes of black cherry, cocoa and mocha, the wine features a silky structure that's amplified by a long-lasting and velvety finish that will likely lead you to pour a second (or a third or fourth) glass.

Château Duhart Milon 2011, $100

If elegance is what you seek on International Women's Day—and rightfully so—then let the grand vin of Château Duhart Milon cloak you in it. Aged for 10 years, this full-bodied cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend has a flavorful character oozing with sophistication, with a juicy yet structured splash of red berries. It's a complexity that Saskia de Rothschild, president of the Domaines Barons de Rothschild estate, has maintained in the many wines from this historic winemaking house as she leads the company forward. As the head of one of the world's largest winemaking dynasties, she is paving the way for the company's progressive future, starting with turning Château Lafite into a completely organic estate this year.