Whether they are winemakers, cellar masters, technical or commercial directors, women are an integral part of the Côtes du Rhône wine ecosystem. Raise a glass to women in wine, and discover these 4 bottles.
WOMEN LEADING IN THE VINEYARDS
Today, almost half of all national oenology diploma graduates (47% in 2022) are women and while women represent 30% of engineering students, on average, they constitute 70% of doctoral students at Institut Agro Montpellier.
CÔTES DU RHÔNE WINE AND WOMEN’S WORK
Women’s work is just as important for Rhône Valley vineyards as the influence of climate and geography. The Côtes du Rhône stretch along the Rhône River, whose steep hillsides show a great diversity of soils warmed by abundant sunshine. The area is also known for its garrigue, a fragrant set of Mediterranean vegetation. The generous bounty of Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC represents nearly 61% of all wine production in the Rhône Valley.
While reds are most represented in the market, there are also some fresh and lively rosés as well as some excellent and very distinctive whites.
For reds, the most planted grape varieties are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre while white grape varieties include Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne. Overall, 23 varieties are authorized in these AOCs. Along with the natural context and the grape varieties, the human factor is just as important in shaping the wines – increasingly through the work of women.
There are a number of leading women from the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages who are celebrated around the world. Women hold key positions in the wine world, as enologists or cellar masters, while others take over the estates where they grew up or enter negociant houses as technical directors or sales managers. Others join major families and show their excellence when they take over the business. Others receive distinctions such as Miss France Agricole, with the 2023 title won by a winemaker from the Gard region. Finally, women build their own businesses and found new estates that fit their ambitions.
March 8 is a great opportunity to celebrate the work of all these talented and daring women.
4 WINES TO CELEBRATE THE WOMEN OF CÔTES DU RHÔNE
There is no better way of discovering the women who are making their mark in the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations than tasting their wines to appreciate all their know-how.
Père Anselme, Côtes du Rhône, La Fiole, 2021 and Père Anselme, Côtes du Rhône Villages, La Fiole Réserve, 2020 (Christine Brotte – technical director, Maison Brotte): these generous and fruity wines are also recognizable through the unique shape of their bottles.
Gabriel Meffre, Côtes du Rhône, Saint Vincent, 2021 and Gabriel Meffre, Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu, Saint-Mapalis, 2020 (Véronique Torcolacci – winemaker, Groupe Gabriel Meffre): these well-made wines are a fine example of what the region has to offer.
Read the Spring 2023 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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