February 14, 2023 by Arden Montgomery

Getting to Know Women in Wine

In every male-dominated industry, there’s a group of women who are leading some of the most important innovation efforts and delivering some of the best products. This is absolutely true of the viticultural world, where the majority of vineyards and wineries are owned and operated by men, but women are rapidly closing the gap with the creativity, dedication, and attention to detail they put into each bottle they produce. 

As women working in the wine world ourselves, we love being in a position to show off the good work of fellow femmes who are out there kicking ass and crushing grapes – that’s why we created our Women in Wine Tasting Set, showcasing two unique and delicious wines from two seriously badass lady-vintners. 

But before we toss you our pitch, we’d like to invite you to dive a little deeper into the proverbial barrel with some interesting stats and stories that give some perspective on the wine industry, and how it was and continues to be shaped by the hands of women. 

Some stats

So, it’s not – like, really, really not – just a beverage for women. But our culture has nonetheless produced some strange and hyperbolic associations between wine and the fairer sex. Cheesy wine-related t-shirt slogans, “Wine Aunt” narratives, and other careless targeted products abound. But despite this ham-fisted and vaguely misogynistic linkage which fails entirely to attend to women’s intellectual and culinary interest in the viticultural arts, the female population working in the industry itself is pretty sparse. 

  • A quarter of all wineries producing between 500,000 and 1 million cases per annum are led by female CEOs. This is a huge increase compared to smaller producers of between 100,000 and 499,999, wherein the percentage of women executives is zero.

  • Intensive studies have revealed that women’s palates are considerably more sensitive than men’s, making them better suited towards careers as wine tasters or sommeliers, and yet their representation in this field is still lagging.

  • Two-fifths of all graduates from the UC Davis Enology program are women, but only 10% of California wineries employ female vintners. This number shrinks when we get into the state’s northern neighbors.

  • White women make approximately 82% of the same salary earned by white men, and this stat carries through into the wine world.

  • Just 16% of American Master Sommeliers are women. Worldwide, this number increases to 35%.

Women who shaped the world of wine

We love to see contemporary girlies busting down the doors to take up space in this industry. And, it’s important to remember that women have been around in viticulture since time immemorial. Not only that, but they’ve made some pretty significant splashes that changed the face of the industry forever. 

Louise Pommery is widely credited with the popularization of dry Champagne, which she produced en masse following her takeover of her late husband’s wine business. 

The Veuve Clicquot – whose name you no doubt recognize – invented pink Champagne, as well as a technique known as riddling which is commonly used in the production of sparkling wines today.

Ann Noble, retired UC Davis professor and chemist extraordinaire, invented the aroma wheel which pro somms rely on now to identify and classify wines. 

And Carole Meredith who identified Cab Sauv as a natural hybrid of two other grape varietals.

Just to name a few.

Meet Argaux!

We’re a women owned-and-operated viticultural company out to revolutionize the wine industry with active representation for female winemakers. We’re doing our part to elevate the names of our favorite ladies in the game, and shift some of those sad statistics we mentioned earlier in the meantime. 

Co-founder Arden Gillfilan offers up expertise as a WSET Advanced Sommelier and Certified Sommelier. Co-owner Margaux Reaume is a scholar of the French wine scene, and holds the same certifications as her partner. Collectively we bring a passion for the culinary possibilities of pairing the right wine with the right edibles, a hard-earned perspective built on a solid and well-educated foundation. 

We know what we’re talking about.

Two bottles from woman winemakers

Now it’s time to taste what femme greatness has to offer your table. In this exciting tasting set we’ve included two gorgeous wines we think you’ll love. 

The first is the 2021 Uphold Wines Rosé ‘for the Women’ made by Megan Glaab, a by-women-for-women bottle that’s just dying to make its way into your dinner conversation. Megan is another educated powerhouse with a B.S. in Enology, and a CV of past experience at least 5 wineries deep. She’s been elbow-deep in the grapes for a long time, and she can tell you all about it if you ask nicely. We recommend you give her wine a try, first.

The second bottle is the 2020 Aslina Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon from Ntsiki Byela. Believe us when we say this Cab Sauv is so good, but don’t take our word for it. Pop the cork, pour it out, and really experience the legacy and dedication that brought this bottle to your table. Ntsiki is famed as the first black female winemaker in South Africa, and she’s bringing everyone with her for the ride. Her vineyard primarily employs women from her village in an effort to uplift and support her home community in a meaningful way. And it’s working!

Other offerings from Argaux

Start with our Women in Wine Tasting Set, but don’t stop there! We’ve got an easy-to-follow Women Winemaker tag on our website that will introduce you to all the fierce female-produced bottles in our collection. We update regularly, so come by often. 


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