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International Women's Day 8th March

International Women's Day 8th March

Count Her In -  As long as one woman faces discrimination, harassment, inequality or oppression, we all do.

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global celebration that commemorates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women while also advocating for gender equality. The origins of International Women's Day trace back to the early 20th century when women around the world began to organize and mobilize for their rights. The day emerged from the labour movements in North America and Europe, with the first National Women's Day being observed in the United States on February 28, 1909, following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

The first International Women's Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Since then, it has evolved into a global event celebrated annually on March 8th, with countries around the world hosting various activities, events, and campaigns to mark the occasion.

The overarching aims of International Women's Day are multifaceted. Primarily, it serves as a platform to highlight the progress made in advancing gender equality and women's rights while also acknowledging the ongoing challenges and inequalities that persist. It aims to raise awareness about issues such as gender-based violence, unequal access to education and healthcare, economic disparities, and underrepresentation in decision-making roles. Additionally, IWD provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in various fields, including politics, business, science, arts, and culture, and to amplify their voices.


Some of the achievements we would like to highlight are of women in wine.. Women have played significant roles in viticulture, winemaking, and the wine business throughout history, yet their contributions have often been overlooked or marginalized. International Women's Day presents an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of women in the wine industry, from vineyard workers and winemakers to sommeliers, educators, and entrepreneurs. Below is a small selection of some of our favourite women making waves in the wine industry.


Aslina Umsasane 2020 South Africa

Ntsiki, raised in the rural village of Mahlabathini in KwaZulu-Natal, earned her high school diploma in 1996. After a year as a domestic worker, she received a scholarship to pursue winemaking at Stellenbosch University in 1999. Graduating in 2003 with a BSc in Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology), she soon became a winemaker at boutique winery Stellekaya. Her journey to create her own wines was ignited during a collaboration with Californian winemaker Helen Kiplinger, facilitated by the Wine for the World initiative. Named in honour of her grandmother, Aslina, Ntsiki's brand embodies her deep connection with nature and her KwaZulu-Natal upbringing. She also crafted a wine for The Winemakers' Collection in France and is a director for the Pinotage Youth Development Academy. Ntsiki earned accolades including Woman Winemaker of the Year in 2009 and recognition among Fortune's Food & Wine most Innovative Women in Food and Drink in 2017.

This wine crafted predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon, named "Umsasane," meaning umbrella tree in Zulu, symbolizes shelter, protection, and comfort. This name pays tribute to Ntsiki's grandmother, Aslina the family matriarch. On the palate, a lavish medley of cassis, blackberry, blueberry, and fresh strawberry notes. Aged for 16 months in Predominantly old oak, with around 20% new French barriques. Subtle touches of wood smoke, clove, and hints of hazelnut enrich the cedar and tobacco complexity.


Sancerre Blanc, Domaine Jean-Paul Balland 2022

An iconic winery from Jean-Paul Balland that has been successfully managed by his two daughters, Elise and Isabelle since 2001. Burgundy-trained oenologist Isabelle makes the wines, and Elise runs an impressively efficient office. They have some 20 hectares with fine plots on Le Grand Chemarin and Le Chêne Marchand. New impressive cellars were completed just in time for the 2015 vintage and the wines are even better!

Their Sancerre Blanc comes from a mixture of limestone pebbly stones “caillottes” and calcareous-clay “Terres Blanches”. The wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel and undergo regular bâtonnage. Intense aroma, with scents of anise and mint associated to sweet quince and pineapple. On the palate mild ripe peachy fruits with hints of citrus and fresh herbs. The attack is lively, fresh and floral (honeysuckle, acacia).


Albourne Estate Bacchus 2022

A wonderful local example of successful women in wine is Albourne estate. Established in 2010 by the dynamic duo of Alison Nightingale and Nick Cooper, Albourne Wine Estate has swiftly emerged as a trailblazing English wine producer, renowned for its innovation and commitment to quality. Alison, with a background in marketing for multinational corporations, decided to pivot her career in 2004. With two young children in tow, she pursued a Viticulture & Enology degree at Plumpton College, laying the foundation for her journey into winemaking. Driven by a passion for viticulture and a desire to create exceptional English wines, Alison and Nick embarked on a quest to find the perfect site for their vineyard. Their search led them to Albourne Farm, conveniently located just five minutes from their home in Hurstpierpoint. Here, they discovered an ideal combination of location, geology, and existing infrastructure, setting the stage for the birth of Albourne Wine Estate. Her wines – a Bacchus, a White Pinot Noir and an Estate Selection – are consistently winning wide acclaim. In fact her first vintage released, was a sell out.

The current Bacchus is an exquisite and quintessentially English single varietal wine. Embodying the characteristics of its varietal, this 2022 Bacchus is delicately pale, offering a refreshing and crisp mouthfeel with a captivating aromatic profile. While drawing comparisons to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Bacchus grape reveals a wider spectrum of aromas, influenced by each vintage and vineyard.


Somnium, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2014

Made by objectively one of the coolest winemakers in the game, Danica Patrick, this is an absolute stunner. She purchased her property in Napa in 2009 and began her journey, beginning with naming the vineyard Somnium, which means “dream” in Latin, because she thought owning her own winery was something that would just be a dream, but it became a reality. 

As well as making delicious wine, Danica is an incredible racing driver, succeeding in the male-dominated world of professional motorsports.Danicais the most successful woman in the history of US open wheel racing, a veteran of the Indianapolis 500, and the first woman to win a major-league race in a North American series. She's pretty incredible and we’re lucky enough to have a small allocation of one of her best wines - the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a top Cabernet cuvee, built to last, made in tiny quantities, made with care.

From the bottle to the glass a very dense opaque colour presents itself. With a few swirls the aromas of toasted walnuts, toffee, and black cherry fill your senses. A sip reveals heady aromas that roll to the mid palate with supple tannins. Dark chocolate and cherry flavours intermingle to offer a long velvety finish of plum and cherry.


Quinta de la Rosa Estate Tinto 2019


Sophia Bergqvist, third generation owner of Quinta de La Rosa, is the only British woman managing a Port house. Quinta de la Rosa stands as a pioneering family-run Single Quinta winery renowned for its exceptional premium wines and world class ports. It is unique for being one of the few Port producers that allow visitor's to view the entire wine producing process from vineyard to bottle. Over the years, Quinta de la Rosa's wines and ports have consistently garnered acclaim, receiving prestigious ratings of 95 points and above. This recognition has elevated the winery's global reputation, culminating in an exclusive invitation to join the prestigious ranks of the world's top 273 wineries at the esteemed Wine Spectator's New York Wine Experience. Sophia has a steadfast commitment to sustainability which runs through every facet of the winemaking journey. Their proactive stance involves continuous monitoring of energy consumption, driven by the aim to refine processes and product choices, ultimately working towards the noble goal of reducing their carbon footprint.

We stock a selection of their still wines and ports with one of our favourites being the Estate Tinto - 60% Touriga Nacional, 12% Touriga Franca, 8% Tinta Roriz, 5% Sousão and the rest coming from mixed field planted old vines, all from La Rosa’s estate. Fermented in stainless-steel vats before maturing for 12 months in used French oak casks. Bottled in February 2020. With woodland fruits, plums, and light herbaceous notes on the nose, this medium bodied wine is seductive thanks to its nuanced complexity. The La Rosa Estate Red is vibrant with smooth young tannins making it the perfect accompaniment to food. Great structure will also ensure that the wine will age well in bottle for many years to come.


Pimentae Tommy's Margarita

Meet Alice & Wynter, who are at the forefront of creating quality crafted canned cocktails and featuring incredible artists through their branding. Based in London, they had grown accustomed to the dismissive attitudes toward tequila and the prevalent shot-focused culture in the UK has often resulted in regrettable nights best left forgotten. Determined to change this narrative, they embarked on a mission to reveal tequila's enchanting qualities when properly balanced. The goal? To redefine how people savour tequila!

They meticulously craft high-calibre cocktails, offering allure and excitement while honouring the richness and intricacy of tequila. Adorned with custom artwork, our bottles narrate our brand's tale, showcasing its Mexican roots and the essence of its ingredients.

They have partnered with El Tequileño, one of only eight tequila brands crafted exclusively in its own distillery. Recently ranked as the third-best distillery out of 130, El Tequileño has been a family endeavour for over six decades, produced in the historic La Guarreña distillery in the heart of tequila. Tommy's Margarita, features bespoke designs by artist Morgan Dagata, based in Bermuda, Morgan draws inspiration from the island's vibrant flora and fauna. Immersing herself in her surroundings, she captures imagery that resonates deeply with her, infusing her art with vivid colours, captivating compositions, and a touch of imagination. Each acrylic painting celebrates life, colour, and emotion, weaving together the essence of tequila and the allure of Tommy's Margarita, offering a journey to a blissful utopia. With Morgan's artistry, they have brought the soul of Tommy's Margarita to vibrant life.


Looking forward, the wine industry can actively participate in International Women's Day by promoting gender equality and diversity within its ranks. This can involve initiatives such as supporting women-owned wineries and vineyards, fostering mentorship and leadership programs for women in the industry, advocating for equal pay and opportunities, and challenging stereotypes and biases. Additionally, wine-related events, tastings, and fundraisers can be organized to raise awareness about issues affecting women globally and to support organizations working towards gender equality and empowerment.

In essence, International Women's Day serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing quest for gender equality and the collective efforts needed to create a more inclusive and equitable world. By recognizing and amplifying the contributions of women in the wine industry and beyond, we can strive towards a future where every individual, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive and succeed. We invite you all to join us in celebrating and supporting these incredible contributions.

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