19 of our very best producers...who just so happen to be women.

Pop quiz: name three legendary female winemakers?

Stuck? You’re not alone. Sure, there are a handful of notable women scattered throughout the history of wine, but naming more than a few is a challenge for even the most passionate wine lover. Since the first wine was bottled centuries ago, winemaking has been a male-dominated industry. Even just a few decades back, there were scarcely any women in powerful roles in the wine world. Aside from a small sample of historical domaines with female heads, women were mostly relegated to support roles for their husbands or brothers or friends.

Today, that narrative is thankfully changing. It is estimated that women now account for about 1/3 of the approximately 50,000 heads of French vineyards, compared with 14 percent 20 years ago. Projected forward, this means that in a further twenty years we would be looking at equal numbers of male and females making wine in France. While numbers like these are hard to verify, even if there is any degree of accuracy this rate of growth is truly great progress.

Women from diverse backgrounds now oversee everything from small family domaines to large-scale operations – growing grapes and making wines, leading largely male teams, directing the marketing and sales and shaping the strategic vision of their brands. Along the way they are also changing patterns and challenging traditions – steps that pave the way for more inclusivity for future generations. There seems to be a tendency to label these women as pioneers, but we think that diminishes many other achievements and denies today’s realities. Not everyone can – or wants to be – a pioneer. Some of these women inherited domaines that were unwanted by other family members. Some fell in love with a vigneron, only to discover a different kind of love for making wine. For every woman who ignored naysayers and boldly set out to buy some land and make her own wine, there is another who stumbled into wine and then painfully reshaped her life in order to fulfil a new calling as a winemaker.

There is still much work to be done, and female winemakers still face difficulty in getting start-up loans, receiving equal pay and gaining recognition, but we see a larger shift in the wine world’s acceptance and celebration of women as winemakers and want the keep the numbers going up. We can all help – by supporting these female winemakers in every way we can, and by buying, sharing and talking about their wines.

Dynamic Vines is proud to say just over 1/3 of our producer portfolio is female – with women either solely at the top, or in a shared partnership. These women are not only responsible for some of our most popular, interesting and delicious wines, they do so with a commitment organic and biodynamic practices. So for Women’s History Month and International Women's Day (#InspireInclusion) we’d like to pay tribute to the winemakers behind many of our favourite bottles, not because they are women, but because they are defying more than just gender expectations, they are crafting seriously delicious wines with a real point of view and a respect for the planet.

Alessandra Divella

Azienda Agricola Divella, Lombardy, Italy

Alessandra Divella started the first female-led estate in Franciacorta in 2012, and is now a true force to be reckoned with in the world of quality Italian sparkling wines. She creates elegant, terroir-driven wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the tiny village of Gussago. But she refuses to label her wines Franciacorta, choosing instead to use the name Gussago, as she declares, “Franciacorta is something entirely different.”

Alessandra refuses to be confined by the typical methods of the region and instead uses practices she learned while working with growers in Champagne. This artisanal approach and her unique terroir creates wines that not only deserve their own designation, they will make you forever remember their name.

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Yvonne Hegoburu

Domaine de Souch, South-West, France

Yvonne Hegoburu was 60 years old when she decided to get into winemaking – in 1987! Yvonne and her husband René bought 16 hectares of land on a hill in the village of Laroin in south west France. They rebuilt the pile of rubble at the top of the hill into a home and lived happily there for several years, until René sadly passed away.

The couple had frequently talked about starting their own vineyard, but never quite got around to it. So in memory of her late husband, Yvonne started planting vines – installing six native grape varieties on hills so steep machines could not be used. The very first wine Yvonne produced won a prestigious award in Paris in 1990, and she soon after become one of the first in the region to embrace biodynamics.

She produced internationally acclaimed dry and sweet wines for more than thirty years and became an emblematic figure of Jurançon. Yvonne died last year at age 95, and the domaine continues under the careful watch of her family.

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Céline and Isabelle Meyer

Domaine Josmeyer, Alsace, France

Céline and Isabelle Meyer are from a family of art lovers, and both studied fine arts and history of art. In 2009 they took control of Domaine Josmeyer from their father Jean, and Isabelle went on to study Oenology.

Today she is in charge of the cellar and the winemaking and Céline manages the domaine, the vineyard activities and all of the biodynamic preparations.

They continue a four decade tradition of collaboration with local artists to create colourful labels that evoke each wine's personality. Céline and Isabelle are also experimenting with new cuvées outside of the appellation rules – following their creative instincts and trying different styles that complement the domaine’s famously pure, elegant wines.

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Delphine Boulard

Francis Boulard & Fille, Champagne, France

Delphine Boulard is the seventh generation of her family to work their land in Champagne, and is proudly conserving it for future generations with her dedication to biodynamics.

Delphine and her father Francis founded their own domaine, Francis Boulard et Fille, in 2009, with the aim of being one of the first organic producers in the region.

Delphine took the reigns fully in 2016 and has cemented the domaine as leader in the biodynamic renaissance in Champagne.

She continues to make the domaine’s signature clean, linear styles and has also added her own twist with new, innovative cuvées including a still wines.

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Glòria and Berta Garriga

Els Jelipins, Catalunya, Spain

Glòria Garriga’s dreamt of a viticultural family project that would allow she and her daughter Berta to live a beautiful life in the hills of Penedès, near Barcelona.

Glòria first visited the area at the age of two and returned every year with her family until she moved there permanently. A former agricultural engineer, she was horrified by the extreme viticulture techniques she saw around her and created Els Jelipins to make wine with respect for the land.

Glòria and Berta shun conventional techniques and craft natural wines in a manner that prioritises protecting the place they cherish. Gloria describes her winemaking as “long, smooth, slow, and silent,” and she expresses this love with a hand-painted red heart on each bottle.

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Fanny Sabre

Domaine Fanny Sabre, Burgundy, France

Fanny Sabre never planned to be a winemaker.

She was at university studying law when her father died and she was asked to take over the estate. She enlisted the help of natural wine pioneer Philippe Pacalet, who ran the domaine until Fanny finished her studies.

She worked alongside Philippe for several years and eventually became the winemaker – a job she says she was destined to do.

Today Fanny tends to 7 hectares of organically farmed vines in 34 different parcels and makes a range of wines that allow her to express both her own ideas and the terroir.

“I have the complete creative freedom to create something that represents who I am as a winemaker,” she says.

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Margherita & Francesca Padovani

Fonterenza, Tuscany, Italy

In the picturesque village of Colle in southern Montalcino, twin sisters Margherita and Francesca Padovani began making Brunellos at the family estate over twenty years ago.

Their focus from the start has been organic winemaking with minimal intervention, and they are constantly looking for new ways to balance the craft of making wine with the care and protection of their natural environment.

They consider this respect for nature to be “a duty to future generations”. They continually experiment with new methods in the vineyard and the cellar to reach these goals, which means the styles of their wines vary by vintage. They say “each wine has its own personality and its own tale to tell.”

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For further celebration…

Help us honour the dedicated women who continue to push the industry forward by popping plenty of their bottles this month. Below are our additional domaines with women at the helm. We’d like to remind you there are 31 days in March, so you have more than enough time to try them all..!


Tenuta di Valgiano - Laura di Collobiano

Ktima Ligas - Meli Ligas

Chateau de Béru - Athénaïs de Beru

Domaine de Beudon - Marion & Séverine Granges

Caroline Bain

Domaine du Courbissac - Brunhilde Claux

Domaine de la Tournelle - Evelyne Clairet

La del Terreno - Julia Casado

Bodegas Moraza - Janire Moraza

Clos Terres Kermes - Valérie Courreges

Emidio Pepe - Chiara & Elisa Pepe

Coulée de Serrant - Virginie Joly


Words by Allison Burton-Parker