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12 best wines by women to toast with this International Women’s Day 2023

Whether you’re partial to a red, white or rosé, raise a glass with one of these on 8 March (and beyond)

Stacey Smith
Monday 06 March 2023 13:50 GMT
<p>Traditionally a very male-dominated industry, there is a new breed of female winemakers creating innovative plonk</p>

Traditionally a very male-dominated industry, there is a new breed of female winemakers creating innovative plonk

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Falling on 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the work and achievements of women in all fields.

The theme for this year’s IWD is #EmbraceEquity, to highlight the difference between equity and equality. The aim is to encourage people to question why equal opportunities aren’t enough – and can, in some instances, be exclusionary, rather than inclusive.

In terms of the wine world, it is traditionally a male-dominated industry. But we’ve gone on a mission to find the women winemakers that are holding prominent positions and making a difference.

We’ve found light, delicate drops from the English countryside, a full-bodied red from sisters in Spain and a fabulous fizz from a celebrity trio – all with extremely talented women at the helm.

These inspirational oenophiles are paving the way for more women to join the winemaking ranks, so, without further ado, read on for some of our favourite reds, whites and rosés created by women.

The best wines by women for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – Ayala brut majeur champagne: £26.99,
  • Best prosecco – Della Vite valdobbiadene prosecco superiore DOCG NV: £29,
  • Best dry white – Susana Balbo crios torrontés: £14.99,
  • Best organic wine – Christina gruner veltliner: £18,
  • Best pale rosé – Kylie Minogue rosé wine: £9,
  • Best for pinot noir fans – Veronic Ortega quite mencía: £24,
  • Best rioja – Bodegas Amézola de la Mora Berry Bros. & Rudd rioja: £14.50,
  • Best canned wine – Nice argentinian malbec, pack of 12: £36,
  • Best chablis – M&S organic famille brocard chablis: £18,
  • Best value – Cramele Recas solomonar reserve red: £9.99,
  • Best full-bodied red – Yalumba galway barossa shiraz: £13.49,
  • Best British wine – Bolney Estate pinot noir: £22.99,

Ayala brut majeur champagne

  • Best: Overall
  • ABV: 12%
  • Size: 75cl

Women have long held an integral role in the champagne industry, with many female winemakers at the helm of well-known houses (both Veuve Clicquot and Madame Pommery took over from their husbands when they passed away). Ayala’s chef de cave (head winemaker), Caroline Latrive, has created an elegant, dry fizz that offers fantastic value for money. It’s part of the Bollinger family, but at a fraction of the price.

A relatively low dosage keeps each sip crisp and refreshing, making this an excellent aperitif or accompaniment to seafood.

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Della Vite valdobbiadene prosecco superiore DOCG NV

  • Best: Prosecco
  • ABV: 11.5%
  • Size: 75cl

In the words of the Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin, “Sisters, are doing it for themselves.” In this case, it’s the Delevingne sisters; Chloe, Poppy and Cara.

They’ve created a premium DOCG prosecco, (the highest classification in Italy), that shows champagne-like levels of complexity. Deliciously floral, expect notes of brioche alongside the classic green apple and tropical fruit. What’s more, the winery, which is situated in a Unesco World Heritage Site, uses sustainable practices and the resulting drink is vegan-friendly.

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Susana Balbo crios torrontés

  • Best: Dry white wine
  • ABV: 14%
  • Size: 75cl

Susana Balbo became the first woman in Argentina to receive her degree in oenology (the study of wine) back in 1981. Since then, she’s been named as one of the “most influential women winemakers” by The Drink Business magazine. This wine by Balbo is crisp and bone dry, with white blossom on the nose and juicy peach notes that make this a fab wine to stock up on.

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Christina gruner veltliner

  • Best: Organic wine
  • ABV: 12%
  • Size: 75cl

We know you should never judge a book by its cover, but will you look at this? Gruner veltliner isn’t seen so widely here in the UK, but it’s the main white grape of Austria. This unfiltered, organic, natural wine is made by Christina Netzl, who took over her family’s vineyards after completing her oenology and wine management studies in the UK. It’s just stunning to drink, with a really fresh quality. Expect juicy kiwi, melon, a touch of minerality and just a whiff of salinity. A delightfully well-balanced drop. 

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Veronic Ortega quite mencía

  • Best: For pinot noir fans
  • ABV: 13%
  • Size: 75cl

This female-founded company showcases a great selection of women winemakers, including this Spanish red by Veronica Ortega. Made with mencía grapes (pronounced “men-thee-ah”), this is a smooth, spicy affair, crying out for a cosy night in. If you’re a fan of pinot noir, we reckon you’ll love this blackcurrant-heavy red. It’s great with food too – try with charcuterie or steak.

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Bodegas Amézola de la Mora Berry Bros. & Rudd rioja

  • Best: Rioja
  • ABV: 14%
  • Size: 75cl

Made by sisters María and Cristina de Amézola, this well-priced, medium-bodied rioja has had a drop of reserve wine in the blend, giving it added complexity. Expect fresh strawberries and a smooth, spicy finish.

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Nice Argentinian malbec, pack of 12

  • Best: Canned wine
  • ABV: 13.5%
  • Size: 12 x 250ml cans

Canned wine and cocktails are seeing a resurgence, and London-based start-up Nice (co-founded by Lucy Wright), is at the fore. It launched with a crowd-pleasing rosé and sauvignon blanc and has since introduced this malbec from Mendoza.

Not only does it taste nice (with notes of juicy cherry and plum), it aims to be “the nicest wine company in the world”, taking into consideration its impact on the planet and the people involved in making it. The slimline cans are also fully recyclable.

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M&S organic famille brocard chablis

  • Best: Chablis
  • ABV: 13%
  • Size: 75cl

This unoaked, single-estate chablis is made using organic and sustainable principles by the talented winemaker Odile Van der Moere. An elegant, zesty and creamy white, this will be particularly divine paired with seafood.

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Cramele Recas solomonar reserve red

  • Best: Value
  • ABV: 14.5%
  • Size: 75cl

If you’ve not tried Romanian wine before, Cramele Recas is a great place to start. The brand’s 2020 winemaking team is made up of 80 per cent women. Together they produce this modern, fruit-forward wine that’s ideal for winter nights.

Weighty and full-bodied (with a punchy 14.5 per cent ABV), it’s a blend of cabernet, merlot and the indigenous feteasca neagra grape. Rich, with black fruit and creamy vanilla on the finish, we think it’s fantastic value for money.

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Yalumba galway barossa shiraz

  • Best: Full-bodied red
  • ABV: 14.5%
  • Size: 75cl

Looking for a full-bodied red? This is it. Silky-smooth and chocolatey, with notes of black fruit and violet, this is delicious with earthy mushroom dishes such as risotto. It’s the work of head winemaker Louisa Rose, who also happens to be one of the most influential winemakers in Australia, having started her career as a cellar hand at Yalumba almost 30 years ago.

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Bolney Estate pinot noir

  • Best: British wine
  • ABV: 11.5%
  • Size: 75cl

We couldn’t resist showing you something grown here in the UK. A much lighter red, this lightly oaked pinot noir is from the Bolney winery in West Sussex, headed up by female winemaker and managing director Sam Linter. She’s also the director of Wine GB and a pioneer of the British wine industry. This is a great summer red, which can be served lightly chilled, if you like. Try it with cold cuts and fish dishes.

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The verdict: Wines made by women

Covering a vast array of grapes, styles and techniques, it’s almost impossible to choose just one as our best buy. However, it seems only right, as we raise a glass to these female winemakers, to do so with champagne. So, for that reason, the well-priced Ayala brut majeur champagne takes our top spot.

If you’re looking for natural wine, (something we think we’ll be seeing lots more of over the coming year), we’d recommend trying Christina gruner veltliner.

Looking for more International Women’s Day content? Read our guides to the brands founded by women

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