‘Girls’ wine’ project empowers women in male-dominated wine industry
CORNVILLE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — As the sun rose across the vineyard at House Mountain in Cornville, a rainbow stretched across the sky. Under its bright colors, 16 women moved quickly and carefully through the vines, harvesting two rows of grapes. “We’ve worked the whole season — from about January when we started pruning, we have cared for these vines,” said Gayle Glomski from Page Springs Cellars. “Now is the moment where the vines are giving back.”
Like the vines, the women are also giving back. They’ve come together for a special project to create a wine made exclusively by women. It’s something that doesn’t happen often. “It’s a male-dominated industry,” said Linda Rachel, who owns a small vineyard and tasting room in Cottonwood. “From the water to the wine, you’re involved with every step of it, and I love that about it. You’re married to the seasons. You’re married to the vines. You’re married to the product.”
Research is sparse about women in the wine industry, but according to Zippia, just 18% of winemakers are women. Industry insiders say women in the wine industry continue to face challenges in both production and ownership. “All we’re doing is asking for the same education and the same experiences,” Glomski said. “It’s more of a recognition of equality.”
The grapes harvested by the volunteers will ultimately produce 77 cases of wine created by female winemakers. “It’s ‘girls’ wine’ in French, so ‘vin de filles,’” Glomski said. In 2020, the women produced the first Vin de Filles vintage. There’s a 2021 vintage, too. “They were incredible. You can only expect something really great to come when you put a lot of good energy into it,” Lauren Moldonado said.
Mother Nature didn’t cooperate in 2022. “Last year we got frosted, so specifically our girls’ wine, we had no grapes, so we had no wine,” Glomski said. That’s what makes this year’s harvest especially satisfying.
“If you pick a bottle of wine and you’re drinking it, it was a year of hard labor,” Glomski said. It’s a labor of love, but don’t get love confused with romance. “It’s very romantic. Everybody wants to own their vineyard and work outside. The reality is not that. It’s very hard work,” Glomski said.
Proceeds from the Vin de Filles project go to the Verde Valley Sanctuary, which supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Tickets are still available for this year’s Vin de Filles fundraising dinner.
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