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An Open Letter from a Woman Vintner

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 8.49.37 PMBy Kat McDonald
Art+Farm Wine
Napa, California

I am a vintner in Napa and I have a wine that has found an audience – primarily of women.

We did not make this wine and name it with that intention.

The wine is called, the girls in the vineyard.  The girls, in this case, refer to the vines.  We have always referred to the vines as “the girls”.  Our last name is McDonald (that would never go on a label) so it was an honest name.

Women have embraced this product.  (So have men). We have buttons that say “Drink Like A Girl”. It is always a delight when 100’s of people at a tasting (Men & Women) are wearing them. We have been a bit whimsical in our approach to these serious, soulful wines.

We have been at this rodeo for almost 20 years and have seen great wines come and go (and some not so great wines) and seen many people with high hopes and great product never get out of the gate.  We are very happy that we have found an audience for what we do and they are loyal customers.

I am of two minds regarding the many wines that are being marketed specifically to women.

On the one hand the concept that We (WOMEN) are tastemakers, decision makers and purse-string holders is thrilling.  We have become so important to the wine industry as buyers and trendsetters that a whole new category has emerged.  The wine equivalent of Chick Lit or Chic Flicks –

On the other side of the equation, is the somewhat uneasy feeling we are being manipulated.  That we are seen as just another segment of a consumer driven culture that you can market to and exploit.  Only time will tell how the whole thing will shake out.

My hope? My hope is that we (WOMEN) will taste all the wines we can, buy the wines that TASTE the best to us and we are not jaded but savvy consumers.  That we do not need ratings, reviews, trophy wines, or wine names that rhyme with Rich.

My hope is that wine becomes a part of our table and our circle, but not necessarily our conversations.  When I am with a group of people the only real conversation I enjoy about my wine is the words …”more , please.”

I would rather know about you and your life and the world around us more then what is in your glass…

kat mcdonald