About

Woman-Owned Wineries elevates female vintners by connecting them with new audiences.  Founded in 2017 by industry veteran Amy Bess Cook, this project encourages consumers and colleagues alike to support women wine entrepreneurs in order to balance our male-dominated industry.

We do this is three primary ways:

  • Our nationwide winery directory was the first of its kind within our industry and lists nearly 700 female vintners.  This resource has introduced sommeliers, journalists, and curious wine lovers to female-owned businesses across the nation.
  • Our wine club curates and delivers wine from independent female vintners to conscious wine lovers.
  • Our storytelling project shares insight from hardworking women winery owners.

 

 

Purpose

Woman-Owned Wineries aims to help level the laying field in our heavily male-dominated industry.

Major enology and viticulture programs have been graduating men and women in roughly equal numbers since the 1990s. Women have long been working in the vineyards, in the cellar, and in the tasting room. Yet despite access to education and job opportunity, women are not well represented in upper management of certain departments—namely production.

Women are rarely winery owners. Of the 4000 wineries in California, for example, only 400 have women as lead winemakers. Just 4% of those women also have their own wine brands.*

Clearly, there is a need for change.

Aspiring female vintners face a range of obstacles, including access to funding. In 2020, women-led startups received just 2.3% of all venture capital funding.

The lack of access to capital for women—especially women of color—is nothing new: Women couldn’t even get loans to start businesses without a male cosigner until 1988. So the history of American women as solo entrepreneurs is very short. A support system, formal or informal, has not historically been in place to support women who aspire to succeed as businesspeople.

We aim to address that by supporting and promoting female wine entrepreneurs. You can participate: Browse the directory to find hardworking women in wine. Then use your dollars to support their work! Thank you for being a part of our growing community of conscious wine lovers.

 

*Source: Drs Lucia and Jack Gilbert, Women Winemakers of California >

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