#femmeFriday 

Conversations about women in wine, with women in wine.  

 

Have someone you'd like to see interviewed for #femmeFriday? Fill out our candidate form here!

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LIZ DOWTY MITCHELL, 8.16.19

Liz has over 12 years experience working the in the fine wine industry. Today she is the South Texas and Louisiana regional representative for Wilson Daniels.

 
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VICTORIA JAMES, 8.9.19

Victoria James is a NYC Sommelier, Beverage Director and partner at Cote NYC, author of Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rose, and co-founder of Wine Empowered, a non-profit providing free education to women in the wine industry, launching in 2020.

 
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ASHLEY TROUT, 8.2.19

Ashley has been working in wine since her freshman year of college. Today she owns a winery, Brook & Bull in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley. She also started Vital Wines, a non-profit to support a free healthcare clinic in the region.

 
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MARISSA ROSS, 7.26.19

Marissa is a comedian turned wine writer and influencer. In addition to being the wine editor for Bon Appétit magazine, Marissa sold her first book Wine. All The Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking in 2015 (published in 2017), and is an advocate for minimal intervention wine.

 
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GINA DELLAVEDOVA, 7.19.19

Gina DellaVedova has been working in the wine industry in Texas for 22 years. She fell in love with importing in the early 2000s, at one point working the entire western half of the US. In 2012, she accepted a position with Winebow and currently represents the Southern Region.

 
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MARTHA STOUMEN, 7.12.19

Martha Stoumen is an inspirational winemaker based in Sebastopol, California. She focuses on producing natural wines from unique grapes like Nero d’Avola.

 
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SARAH HARSHAW, 7.5.19

Sarah started working in restaurants in 1998, holding almost every front-of-house position before making her transition to distribution. Today, she is the regional sales manager for Dalla Terra Winery Direct.

 
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MELISSA SUTHERLAND, 6.28.19

Melissa came to the wine industry 14 years ago after having a successful career in domestic social policy, working in Washington D.C. Today, she brings her multi-disciplinary approach to the wine business, living and working in NYC. She currently represents Italian whites working for Panebianco Wines.

 
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JOSEFA CONCANNON, 6.21.19

Josefa is a world traveler and the National Sales Manager for Louis Dressner Selections. She was a WWOW 2019 Speaker on our panel about self-advocacy.

 
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AMY BESS COOK, 6.14.19

Amy Bess Cook is founder of Woman-Owned Wineries, a company focused on celebrating female wine entrepreneurs through storytelling, advocacy, and commerce. Her nationwide directory includes over 550 female-owned wineries.

 
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ASHLEY MUIR, 6.7.19

Ashley Muir is the Beverage Manager at Clark’s Oyster Bar in west Austin, Texas. She’s been working in hospitality professionally for seven years, and brings a refreshing and youthful approach to Austin’s wine scene.

 
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KAREN MACNEIL, 5.31.19

Karen MacNeil is one of the greatest names in the wine industry. Having started her career more than 40 years ago, Karen’s insight into the dynamics of gender equality is invaluable.

 
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SENAY ÖZDEMIR, 5.24.19

Senay Özdemir is a powerhouse in the European wine industry, representing female winemakers from her native country of Turkey and other eastern European countries. In addition to founding an online magazine SEN, starting her own marketing company (House of Red & White), and producing the first documentary on women leadership in the wine industry, Senay also just put on the very first Women in Wine Expo in Europe.

 
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SARAH JANE CURRAN, 5.17.19

Sarah Jane Curran was one of WWOW 2019’s conference speakers, leading a discussion called “Rising Above the Beer Bro Culture.” She is a leading expert in the beer industry in DC and teaches Intro to Beverage at a small college in the area, in addition to hosting a successful podcast on Full Service Radio titled “Beer Me.”

 
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SANDRA SPALDING, 5.10.19

Sandra Spalding oversees 93 stores as the Director of Marketing and Community for Twin Liquor’s, in addition to running the company’s Wine Academy.

 
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ANNA ESPELT, 5.3.19

Anna Espelt is winemaker and proprietor of her family’s domaine in Empordà DO in the northeastern stretches of Catalonia.

 
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JILL ZIMORSKI, 4.26.19

Jill Zimorski is a wine industry vet, having been in the business since 2002. She has run beverage programs at some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants, and today she is a Champagne Specialist representing wines from the Moët Hennessy portfolio.

 
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LINDSAY THOMAS, 4.19.19

Lindsay is a sommelier powerhouse, selling wine at the legendary Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston Galleria. Lindsay has spent 12 years in hospitality, is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and holds a Master’s in International Business.

 
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MOLLY AUSTAD, 4.12.19

Molly Austad is the Beverage Manager for one of Austin’s oldest and most prestigious restaurants, Jeffrey’s, an upscale steakhouse that boasts a wide range of some of the world’s most sought after wines, and one of multiple restaurants under the McGuire Moorman Hospitality group.

 
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MORGAN PERRY, 4.5.19

Morgan Perry is the founder of Vino Vinyasa Yoga, yoga classes that bring together vinyasa-based yoga and fun wine facts through creative yoga poses, currently offered in New York City and Austin, Texas.

 
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TRACI WALKER, 3.29.19

Traci is the wine buyer for Jester King Brewery in the outskirts of Austin, Texas. Traci matches Jester King’s artisanal, minimal intervention style of beers with a wine program that is focused on small production, sustainable and conscientious farming, and native fermentation.

 
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JESSICA TANTILLO, 3.22.19

Jessica is an Account Manager for Twin Liquor’s and has spent the past 18 years working in the hospitality industry. Thank you Jessica for sharing your insight!

 
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J.R. AYALA, 3.15.19

J.R. Ayala is a bartender at Jeffrey’s, an exquisite, upscale Austin institution that boasts a robust and curated beverage program, and former wine buyer for Clark’s Oyster Bar. She’s spent five years in wine and brings kindness, truth, and powerful insight into the parities of gender equality in our industry. Thank you J.R.!

 
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MARIA BASTASCH, 3.8.19

On International Woman’s Day, we interview Maria Bastach, Wine Director for Maydan and Compass Rose restaurants in DC.

 
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RANIA ZAYYAT, 3.1.19

This week, we turn to the founder of Wonder Women of Wine, Rania Zayyat, who shares the lessons she's learned in her career in restaurants, launching her own consulting company Vintel, and what inspired the need for a conference like W.W.O.W.⁣

 
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MELANIE WILTZ, 2.22.19

Melanie Wiltz is the National Sales Consultant for Massanois Imports and holds a breadth of knowledge and insight into what gender equality in the wine industry looks like. Thanks for the interview Melanie!

 
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BECKY WASSERMANHONE, 2.15.19

Becky Wasserman Hone is founder of Becky Wasserman & Co., an artisanal wine brokerage company based in Beaune, France. Her portfolio consists of artisanal producers primarily from Burgundy and surrounding areas who “honor their terroirs”. Becky is truly a wonder woman of wine.

 
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LAUREN HOLBROOK, 2.8.19

Lauren Holbrook is a gem in the Austin wine community. She has spent 12 years serving the industry in both restaurants and distribution, and continues to stand out for her humble and hard-working approach.

 
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KAREN BLACKBURN, 2.1.19

Karen is a Brand Manager for Serendipity Wines and has worked in distribution for 15 years. Her experiences in the industry reflect those of many women wine professionals. Thank you, Karen for openly speaking these truths and for championing women into leadership!

 
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PEGGY HANLEY, 1.25.19

Peggy Hanley hasn’t always been a part of the wine world, but as the Executive Director of the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, she is paving a path for wine professionals and enthusiasts alike to enjoy wine in an unpretentious and inclusive fashion.

 
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JULIA DIXON, 1.18.19

Julia Dixon has carved out a niche in the wine industry. She is the owner of ArtProWine, a luxury entertainment company focused on organizing upscale wine events, and with her newly founded company, Gravity Imports, Julia will be introducing the US to some phenomenal Georgian wines.

 
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EVELYN POOL, 1.11.19

Evelyn Pool is a wine industry vet, having been in the business for over four decades. She was one of the first women in wine sales in Texas, and today is the President of Crush Wine Marketing.

 
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JEANNE-MARIE DESCHAMPS, 1.4.19

Jeanne-Marie Deschamps is an anomaly. Born and raised in the France’s Loire Valley, she started her own brokerage in the 1980s, Domaine et Saveurs Collection, representing fine wine estates primarily from Burgundy. Her reputation reflects her stature, a strong, confident, and overarching presence in the wine world.

 
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CARA BERTONE, 12.28.18

Cara Bertone carries years of experience in hospitality and the wine industry. She is an Advanced Sommelier, a supplier for Folio Fine Wine Partners overseeing four states, and a mother of two. We are stoked to have her featured on #femmeFriday!

 
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DENISE CLARKE, 12.21.18

Denise Clarke is a force in the wine industry. A public relations consultant with over three decades experience, Denise works with a handful of high quality producers in Texas, is an avid cycler in her free time, and is a true wonder woman of wine .

 
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ADRIENNE BALLOU, 12.14.18

Adrienne Ballou is a rockstar in the Texas wine industry. She produced her first solo wine this year, a 100% Texas Mourvedre bottled under the label Lightsome Wine. A graduate of UC Davis, Adrienne has worked in cellars in France, Washington, and Australia, and is now assistant winemaker for Calais winery.

 
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CARENN MACKINNON, 12.7.18

Carenn Mackinnon boasts a well-rounded background in wine, holding previous positions in distribution, supplier, imports, retail, and now restaurants. Today, she is the assistant general manager and wine buyer for the newly opened Carpenter Hall in Austin.

 
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AME BREWSTER, 11.30.18

Ame Brewster is a treasure in our industry. She first cut her teeth in wine 20 years ago while working in NYC restaurants and today is creating positive change in the Texas wine industry as the Director of Operations for Fall Creek Vineyards. Yeah Ame!

 

MIKA JORDAN, 11.23.18

Mika Jordan is an inspiration in our industry. She has been in hospitality for over 10 years, and today she is the Wine & Spirits Buyer for Whole Foods Southwest Region.

 
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JESSICA DUPUY, 11.16.18

Jessica Dupuy started writing about the Texas wine industry over 10 years ago. Today her articles cover the greater world of wine, and she is a regular contributor to Texas Monthly, Texsom, and the Guild of Sommeliers.


 
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BETHANY JELKS, 11.9.18

This is Bethany Jelks! She is our wonder woman of wine and we are excited to feature her on this #femmeFriday ! Bethany has worked in hospitality since she was 15, has been in distribution for the past seven years, and today she's the Vanguard Sales Representative for RNDC in Austin.

 
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SONCY CHIN, 11.2.18

Soncy has been in hospitality since she was 15, and has been working in wine for the past 15 years! Today, she is the On Premise Sales Manager for Favorite Brands Distribution. Soncy's leadership in our industry, along with having a family, and showing that you can be successful at both, makes her a true wonder woman!

 
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ALI SCHMIDT, 10.26.18

Ali Schmidt has spent ten years in the industry fine tuning her wine knowledge at some of Austin's top restaurants including Uchiko and Jeffrey's, and is now the General Manager and wine buyer of Austin's beloved Emmer & Rye. Go Ali!

 
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LESLIE HIGGS, 10.19.18

Meet Leslie Higgs! She has played an influential role in the Austin wine scene for 13 years. Leslie's background includes work in some of the city's most treasured restaurants and in distribution. She is currently the Director of Operations for Aviary Wine & Kitchen, and is a true wonder woman of wine to us.

 
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VILMA MAZAITE DE FLORES, 10.12.18

Vilma Mazaite de Flores holds 20 years experience in the wine industry with a strong background in wine centric restaurants around the country. She is an Advanced Sommelier through the CMS and is now expanding her expertise to the supplier side as the Regional Manager for Domaine Select Wine & Spirits.
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CRISTIN MOXY CASTRO, 10.5.18

Cristin Moxy Castro holds a wealth of knowledge, having spent 20 years serving in the wine industry. Today she is the Regional Sales Director for D&E Central Texas and serves on the board of the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas. Her leadership, passion, and genuine hospitality make her a positive force in our community.

 
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MEGHAN CAIAZZO, 9.28.18

Meghan Caiazzo is an owner and founder of Victory Wine Group, a highly regarded and successful distribution company operating in four states including Texas, and a mother of two, making her a rarity in our industry with a ton of insight!

 
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LINDSAY DREW, 9.21.18

Meet Lindsay Drew, current sommelier and assistant manager of Guild Restaurant in Austin. Lindsay placed second in this year's annual TexSom Conference in Dallas, TX, an achievement that has been obtained by some of the most respected sommeliers in the industry. Go Lindsay!

 
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DANIELA DASUTA, 09.14.18

Daniela is owner of Sekt Wine Consulting in Austin, TX. She is a wine educator and has recently taken a role as the Wine Studies instructor with the Culinary Institute of America. She is finishing up her WSET Diploma and will soon be preparing for the rigorous MW Certification!

 
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KELLI FRIZZELL, 09.07.18

Kelli Frizzell is the Senior Director of Sales for Serendipity Wines in Texas. Kelli has traveled the world, is in love with people and culture, and is making an impact on female leadership and equality in the wine industry.

 
 
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PAULA RESTER SALINAS, 8.31.18

Paula Rester Salinas is a wine and hospitality vet in Austin, TX, having spent 28 years in the industry. She is currently the Wine Director for La Corsha Hospitality Group, including such Austin staples as Second Bar & Kitchen and Mattie’s.

 
 
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MANDI NELSON, 8.24.18

Mandi has spent over 20 years in the wine industry, sharpening her skills on both the distribution and restaurant side of the biz, is a Certified Sommelier, a Certified Sake Professional, a founding member of the ATX Somm Society, and is currently the Sales Manager of European Cellars.

 
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RAE WILSON, 8.17.18

Rae is founder of Wine for the People, owner and winemaker of Dandy Texas Rosé, and co-founder of The Grower Project, an initiative to bring more awareness to high quality, single vineyard sites in Texas and wines comprised of 100% Texas fruit.

 
 
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JOELLE COUSINS, 8.10.18

Joelle Cousins is a key account manager for RNDC, and an integral part of the local sommelier community in Austin. Joelle has spent countless hours volunteering her time to help coach sommeliers with blind tastings, theory, and service. She is also building the ATX Somm Society.

 
 
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ERIKA WIDMANN, 8.3.18

Erika is currently crushing it as the buyer for the original Whole Foods in downtown Austin. She selects refreshing, unique, and sustainably produced wines to mirror the health food store's overall concept. Look for her "treasure hunt" section in the wine department.

 
 
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ABIGAIL PERRY, 7.27.18

Meet Abigail Perry, an advocate for sustainably and minimally produced wines who spends her evenings charming patrons at east Austin's hip wine and pizza spot, Bufalina.