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Celebrating the Women Behind the Wine 

So here’s something you might not know: there is a major gender gap in the wine industry. Case in point, only 16% of VP-level employees in the wine industry are women(1) and only 10% of California’s Lead Winemakers are women(2). That’s why Women Behind the Wine is working to close that gap by not only celebrating this generation of women in the wine industry but also empowering the next.

We’re highlighting some of today’s female industry leaders and sharing their stories as we strive to empower those who will soon follow in their footsteps. And you’re essential to this mission. When you support one of the participating brands, you not only support each of these featured women, you fuel dreams for years to come by supporting the Women Behind the Wine scholarship program.

Now let’s meet some of the trailblazing women in the industry.
  • Liz Comte-Monk, Export Manager | Fleur de Mer Rosé

    A stroke of luck brought Liz into the wine industry. After studying international trade, she found her calling 28 years ago in the export department at Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint-Tropez. “Wine is a wonderful world and I feel very fortunate that I can represent wines from Provence around the world.” Calling Fleur de Mer Rosé “the perfect wine,” Liz believes that each sip brings the allure of Provence to the table. This crisp and refreshing wine entices with notes of cherry, watermelon and citrus.
    Try it out 
  • Nicole Hitchcock, Winemaker | J Vineyards CA Pinot Noir

    Nicole discovered her passion for food and wine working in restaurants, but her path was officially set when she discovered the winegrowing and winemaking programs at the University of California at Davis. After graduating, Nicole worked her first harvest in 2001 and eventually joined E. & J. Gallo Winery as a winemaker in 2004. She now serves as head winemaker for J Vineyards and Winery, overseeing all aspects of winemaking from vineyard to bottle. Nicole has a special fondness for the CA Pinot Noir—a soft, silky red featuring bright notes of cranberry, fig and orange peel.
    Try it out 
  • Katie Vogt, Assistant Winemaker | Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

    Katie was pursuing a career in wine marketing when an unplanned chance to work a harvest set her down a winemaking path. “My first week there was the best week of my life. I decided that’s it...I want to do this forever.” After completing her degree and several internships, Katie brought her passion and expertise to Louis M. Martini Winery, crafting wines like Sonoma County Cabernet. This wine reflects the best of the warm, narrow Dry Creek Valley and the hot yet wind-cooled Alexander Valley, creating a balanced wine with notes of dark fruit, black tea and cocoa.
    Try it out 
  • Claudia Manetta, Export Manager | Luminore by La Marca

    Born in the historic town of Bergamo, Italy, Claudia has a profound passion for art, literature and foreign languages. After obtaining her specialist degree, Claudia worked as an interpreter before joining La Marca Prosecco in 2008 as an export manager. “When I entered the wine industry, I discovered a world where passion, territory, and tradition all play a significant role,” Claudia said. “Our goal is to take these wonderful aspects of our unique region and make them known internationally.” One such passion project is Luminore by La Marca. With a balance of crisp pear, fresh citrus and light floral notes, this wine demonstrates the apex of what Prosecco can achieve.
    Try it out 
  • K’Sondra Fredrickson, Enologist | Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay

    After growing up in Oregon with wine aficionado parents, K’Sondra took a summer job in a local winery’s tasting room. It was there she discovered her true calling. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and microbiology and interning for several prestigious wineries, K’Sondra joined Talbott Vineyards as an enologist. She works closely with Talbott Vineyards winemaker, David Coventry, producing world-acclaimed wines such as Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay. This wine shines with a soft, clean finish, a hint of minerality and hard spice notes.
    Try it out 
  • Lauren McCabe, Operations Manager | William Hill North Coast Chardonnay

    After six years of active duty service in the Navy, Lauren transitioned into the private sector. Her position as a Naval officer prepared her for a number of obvious careers requiring leadership and discipline. When it came time to choose between several offers, she chose the road less traveled. “When given the opportunity at William Hill Estate, I was excited for the chance to work with a small, passionate team to create iconic wines.” These wines include their North Coast Chardonnay—a bright, medium-bodied wine offering notes of ripe melon, peach and tropical fruit.
    Try it out 

WBTW Pop-Up Series

Wine lovers in the NYC area, stop by Broadway Spirits each Thursday this March from 5-8 to participate in their pop-up series hosted by E&J Gallo Winery. Beginning March 6th, this series is aimed at celebrating the many Women Behind the Wine. Each week they will walk you through a tasting from a female-led brand. 

March 6th – J Vineyards tasting celebrating their Winemaker, Nicole Hitchcock  

March 12th – Louis M Martini tasting, celebrating their Assistant Winemaker, Katie Vogt  

March 19th – Talbott Vineyard tasting celebrating their Enologist, K’Sondra Fredrickson

March 26th – Mount Peak Winery tasting celebrating their Vineyard Manager, Brenae Royal

Broadway Spirits is located at  315 Broadway New York, NY 10007 and is owned by Megha Duggal. 

(1)Women Winemakers of California, July 2018

(2)WOTVS Women in the Workplace, McKinsey & Company, March 2019