Varietal: Chardonnay

Who: While Oceano Wines is a solidly West Coast label, its founder Rachel Martin has extensive East Coast viticultural roots. As former executive vice president of her family’s winery, Boxwood Estate, she was hailed by Forbes as a “force in Virginia wine” who helped establish a new appellation and give new life to the Virginia wine business. When that chapter of her career closed, she turned her attention to California, teaming up with her husband,  entertainment producer Kurt Deutsch, to found Oceano Wines. Marbue Marke, a native of Sierra Leone who has more than 25 vintages under his belt, is the Oceano winemaker.
Whitehall Lane

For more than four decades, Whitehall Lane Winery has graced Highway 29 on the outskirts of St. Helena. For half of those years, the winery has been run by the Leonardi family, which previously founded the iconic Napa Valley Wine Exchange. Today, Whitehall Lane operations are overseen by daughter Katie Leonardi, along with her brother Tom. With eight strategic vineyard holdings in the St. Helena, Rutherford, and Oak Knoll appellations, as well as across the county line in Sonoma, Whitehall Lane produces a wide range of wines from quality grapes. The winery is Certified Napa Green for its sustainability measures, and its dedication to quality has resulted in encore placements on Wine Spectator’s revered “Top 100 Wines” list.

Silver Coast Winery Poundstone

Where: Carneros, Sonoma County

Who: Melody Meckfessel is an accomplished software engineering executive that has been described by WIRED Magazine as “The Woman at the Heart of Everything Google Builds” and by Business Insider as “one of the most powerful women in tech”(Yeah. Wow!)

Hailing from generations of ranchers, including the matriarchal namesake Jessie Doris Poundstone, Melody continued the family farming tradition with the founding of Poundstone Wines in 2007. In the vineyard and cellar, she collaborates with winemaking partner Bruce Devlin; her brother Bryan Mann and sister-in-law Cristen Mann help lead operations.

Why: You’re craving a classic Chardonnay with a bit of extra vibrance and inspiration.

Rusty Hook Winery Seagrape Cellars La Cienega Vineyard Sonoma Rising

It’s been two years since we launched Woman-Owned Wineries in the aftermath of a Sonoma County firestorm. Now, the area has been struck again. We in Sonoma County are a dedicated lot and we love our work! Show us you love it too by ordering bottles from the following list of wines from local female vintners. Many of the business owners here were directly impacted by wildfires.

We  appreciate similar lists that have been circulated. Some have lacked gender representation, so we’re here to help strike a balance.

In addition to ordering directly from these wineries, please consider signing up for our next Woman-Owned Wineries wine club shipment, which will benefit Wine Empowered, the new nonprofit educational endeavor for women and minorities.

Thank you for your support!

Amy Bess Cook

Founder, Woman-Owned Wineries


Trestle 31 Wander + Ivy