Quite some time ago I had gone on to our Hoot n Annie Facebook page and asked who all the female winemakers in the Paso Robles area were and the response was amazing. I thought there were only a small handful but turns out there were about 21 names mentioned. I could not confirm a few of them so I believe there are about 19 but I’m sure there are more out there that were missed.
Here’s the list but please keep in mind that some of this information may not be completely accurate so if you have any info that could help make this list more accurate please let me know in the comment section below. My only “rules” are that they are female (obviously), preferably that they are winemakers in North County (from Santa Margarita to San Miguel), and that they are the winemaker or the assistant winemaker.
Amy Butler- Ranchero Cellars (this is her label but she also consults or has consulted for others like Red Soles, LXV, etc.)
Danielle Shaw- Caliza Winery (assistant)
Shannon Gustafson- Rangeland Wines
Janell Dusi- J. Dusi Wines
Vaila Esh- Desperada Wines
Chrissy Wittmann- Wild Horse Winery
Amy Freeman- EOS Estate Winery
Jordan Fiorentini- Epoch Estate Wines
Tiffanee Vierra- Derby Wine Estates
Hilary Graves- Graves Winegrowers
Stephanie Terrizzi- Giornata
Samantha C. Taylor- Hope Family Wines (assistant)
Jennifer Hoage- Terry Hoage Vineyards
Amanda Cramer- August Ridge Vineyards
Denise Valoff- Donati Family Vineyard
Riley Hubbard- Law Estate Wines (assistant)
Lisa Pretty- Pretty-Smith Winery
Chelsea Franchi- Tablas Creek Winery (assistant)
Dorothy Schuler- Bodegas Paso Robles
Katie Vogt- E&J Gallo Central Coast (assistant)
Molly Strupp- Halter Ranch Vineyard (assistant)
Patti Bello- B&E Vineyards
Joyce Murray- Bon Niche Cellars
Judy Starr- Starr Ranch Winery
Kate Dubost- Dubost Ranch Winery
Becky Zelinski- First Crush Cellars
Again, please let me know what info is wrong or what is missing. There are a few holes above but this needs to be crowd sourced.
Now…all that being said, why the hell did I want to write about female winemakers?
Well, I like females and I like wine. That being said I thought it would be pretty cool to highlight them and show them some appreciation. As I was working on this I started wondering why we do that…why we call them female winemakers rather than winemakers. If someone is black do we call them a black winemaker? How about a gay winemaker? Midget winemaker? We don’t say white winemaker or male winemaker now do we?
I ended up sitting somewhere in the middle on this. I get it, there are more male winemakers in Paso than female winemakers so we acknowledge that by including “female” as a descriptor of who/ what they are. On the flip side, who gives a damn if they are male or female…I just want the wine to be good and hopefully the winemaker is a cool person. Whether that person/ winemaker has a penis or a vagina shouldn’t really matter…should it?
Let me know your thoughts and please give me any other info you have to make my list more complete. It would be greatly appreciated.