female winemakers

Celebrating Women’s Legacy in Wine: Napa Valley’s Female-Owned Wineries

March in Napa isn’t just about the promise of budding vines; it’s also a time to pay tribute to the remarkable women and their contributions to the wine industry. As we commemorate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, let’s toast to the visionary female winemakers and proprietors who have shaped the landscape of Napa Valley’s wine scene.

Trailblazers in Innovation

Napa Valley boasts a constellation of female-led wineries that have redefined excellence in winemaking and proprietorship. From the legendary Merry Edwards to the innovative Kimberlee Nichols, these visionary leaders inspire us with their passion, creativity, and remarkable contributions.

Pioneering Spirits

Among these pioneers are trailblazing winemakers like Hannah Weinberger and Zelma Long, whose dedication to their craft has set new standards of excellence. Hannah Weinberger, the first recognized female winemaker in California, made history by assuming ownership of the Weinberger winery in Napa Valley after her husband’s passing in 1882. Her stewardship continued until Prohibition legislation forced the closure of the winery in 1920. Today, the Weinberger winery and its accompanying homestead hold a place of honor on the National Register of Historic Places.

Innovative Proprietors

Innovative proprietors such as Mary Webber Novak and Cathy Corison lead the charge at Napa Valley’s female-owned wineries. Their entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering dedication have shaped their success and inspired countless others to pursue their dreams in wine.

A Legacy of Excellence

As we raise our glasses to these trailblazing women, let’s also recognize the contributions of Sandra Belcher, Julie Johnson, Barbara Lindblom, Elizabeth Vianna, Pam Starr, Elaine St. Clair, Elan Fayard, Lisa Redmon, Helen Keplinger, and many others. Their collective legacy is a testament to women’s vital role in shaping our wine community.

Raising a Glass to Progress

Let’s toast to women’s progress, equality, and empowerment in wine. Whether you’re savoring a glass of Merry Edwards Pinot Noir or exploring the exquisite offerings of Handley Cellars, take a moment to honor the visionary women behind these exceptional wines.

Discover and Support Female-Owned Wineries

As you embark on your wine adventures in Napa Valley this month, make it a point to discover and support female-owned wineries. From boutique vineyards to iconic estates, a wealth of talent and innovation is waiting to be explored. Join us in celebrating the legacy of these remarkable women and raising awareness of their vital role in shaping our wine community.

Here are a few notable names to add to your must-visit list:
  • Merry Edwards Winery: Known for its exceptional Pinot Noir, Merry Edwards Winery is a testament to its founder’s pioneering spirit. Experience the elegance and finesse of her wines while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Russian River Valley.
  • Corison Winery: Cathy Corison is the driving force behind Corison Winery, producing 3. age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that captures the essence of Napa Valley’s renowned vineyards. Step into the historic Kronos Vineyard and savor the nuanced flavors of her meticulously crafted wines.
  • Lail Vineyards: Robin Daniel Lail carries on her family’s winemaking legacy at Lail Vineyards, where she produces Bordeaux-inspired blends that reflect the terroir of Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain. Visit their tasting room and experience the artistry and elegance of Lail’s acclaimed wines.
  • Crocker & Starr: Pam Starr’s Crocker & Starr Winery is renowned for its estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Explore their vineyards in St. Helena and taste the terroir-driven wines that showcase the beauty of Napa Valley’s terroir.
  • Azur Wines: Elan Fayard’s Azur Wines offers a downtown Napa tasting room where visitors can sample a diverse selection of Bordeaux varietals and blends. Experience the artistry and passion behind Azur’s wines while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Napa.
  • Tres Sabores: Founded by Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores is a boutique winery in the Rutherford AVA. Taste the handcrafted wines that reflect the estate’s organic and biodynamic practices while soaking in the beauty of its vineyards.
  • Redmon Wines: Lisa Redmon’s eponymous winery showcases small-lot wines crafted from premium Napa Valley fruit. Visit their tasting room and discover the artistry and elegance of Redmon’s acclaimed wines, each a testament to her passion and dedication.
  • St. Clair Brown: St. Clair Brown is a unique urban winery in downtown Napa that offers a diverse selection of wines crafted by owner and winemaker Elaine St. Clair. Experience their small-lot productions and enjoy their garden-to-table culinary offerings for a truly immersive wine experience.

By supporting these female-owned wineries and wineries with female winemakers, you’re indulging in exquisite wines and celebrating women’s resilience, creativity, and talent in the wine industry.

Scroll to Top
Stay in the Napa Know

Sign up to unlock insider tips, exclusive deals and the latest updates from Napa Comcierge