In Honor of Women’s History Month

I’ve written two of these women in wine round-ups already, but hey, it’s Women’s History Month, and there is always room for more. Past favorites have been Theopolis , Ehlers , Aslina , Warr-King and more. But how about another batch of women in wine—yeah?! Yeah! Some of these women are winemakers, some owners, and some both. Whatever the role, these women are very valid vintners all the way. MEGAN HUGHES OF BARNARD GRIFFIN A wonderful Washington wine! Megan is the daughter of the founder and upcoming vintner here and is slowly taking the reins from her father Rob Griffin, who founded the winery in 1983 with his wife Deborah Barnard. Kudos to them for putting the woman’s last name first. Lands better that way. And Megan keeps on those giving ways; she volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club and Junior Achievement, aiming to help young women in the wine industry and STEM fields. And she makes delicious, delicious drinks. 2021 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese The International Wine Competition’s Rosé Sweepstake category winner! Brilliant color of fuchsia salmon that makes me thirsty just gazing at it. Feels marina-ish while warming all the same. As a vibe. Fresh white peppered roses and strawberry carry to where the midpalate, where a savor kicks in. It has a sort of sturdiness to it—acid, hint of tannic grip, the savory notes—but is also a smidge perfumed and “ladylike”, whatever that means to you. Cue my clothing synesthesia. It’s a square clutch in shimmery cloth the same color as it. Boxy as it is structured but has that glam-fun fabric coloring the angled look. LEAH JØRGENSEN OF LEAH JØRGENSEN CELLARS Leah is well-rounded AF. She studied English literature and creative writing…then holistic nutrition…and Traditional Chinese Medicine and Functional Medicine…THEN Enology and winemaking. She’s from Oregon, and her favorite quirky thing to do in Oregon is to pick roadside blackberries, and hey…I ALSO grew up visiting a friend who lived there so…you know I think we are kindred spirits. But beyond that, she’s also into quantum physics so obvi I want this woman to be my best friend. She’s probably busy though, making exceptional Cabernet Franc. Also, her husband, who on the winery website is cited as being “’first mate and partner” ALSO has blackberry picking as his favorite quirky Oregon pastime, so she doesn’t need me but that’s okay, I’ll just keep drinking her fabulous wine. 2020 Leah Jørgensen Cellars Southern Oregon Cabernet Franc Jalapeño pepper-y and smokey and perfumed earth nose. Layers of dark fruit: black currants and purple plums and maybe even some sort of fruit leather, and then there is floral note too on the palate. For all its brooding looks and dark earth nose, it really is so elegant and lifted. Maybe it’s the smoky notes that give this feeling, but it’s like it floats though your mouth, like one of those people who can silently walk as if they are not touching the ground. RECHA BERGSTROM OF SANDAR & HEM WINES Recha is the CEO at Sandar & Hem, a Santa Cruz winery which she founded with her husband in 2018. She is also a doctor, a radiologist specializing in Women’s Imaging, so she’s good for womankind all over. And she has a company that provides physicians with support for developing philanthropic practices. And she has kids! That’s a lot, but they do say if you want something done, give it to someone who’s busy. Recha is getting it done. Santa Cruz is an undersung region, and Sandar & Hem is there to tell its story. Which fortunately for a Chard-head like me, means they have quite the way with Chardonnay. 2019 Sandar & Hem Wines Mindego Ridge Chardonnay Rich and winsome, it doesn’t weigh you down, despite the love tap of new French oak vanilla and light butter. There’s an herbal nature to it. Something I identified as green and spicy and mildly chervil to it. I think in a year or so it may really come into its own but it is already singing guest solos now. SAMANTHA SHEEHAN OF ULTRAVIOLET / POE WINES / MOMMENPOP Samantha Sheehan started making wine in 2009, and now makes wines across three labels and, okay, I haven’t tried the Mommenpop aperitif yet, but I am a huge fan of her POE label, where she makes Burgundian-inspired wines, as well as her Cabernet Sauvignon and sparkling under the Ultraviolet label. Wine Enthusiast included her in their “40 Under 40” list last year. I can’t wait to see what’s next. And also to taste her Mommenpop. 2020 Ultraviolet Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Ultraripe but easy drinking as far as Cabernet Sauvignon goes. Made without any additions aside from a “judicious” wee bit of sulfur. And I’m here for that. Aged in neutral French. The ripe black and blue and straight up purple fruits (from plums to berries) pop on the nose, but on the palate there is a surprising sliver of minerality. Then you get a pop of spices and licorice. Really a delight. Way too easy to guzzle this cab. JUDY JORDAN OF GEODESY Before moving on in 2015, Judy Jordan was the “J” behind J Vineyards—although I do wonder which J it was? She was a geologist, and on a quest to support and open doors for women so the name of her next venture, Geodesy, checks out too. The name is a combination of “geology” and “odyssey”. The proceeds of Geodesy benefit WG Edge, a program that supports professional and personal education of young women and connect them with mentors. And hey, the wine is more than well worth drinking, so trying a bottle is a win-win. 2018 Geodesy Wines Sage Ridge Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon It’s a big wine and a good wine! All the berries, black, rasp, and mul charge your nose with tobacco lagging behind. Big ol’ tannins but well-toned. They handle themselves, well dressed in velvet. Plums and vanilla-blackberry swirl ice cream on the palate. Complex, diggable, and literally intoxicating. And of course, I know everyone is dying to know, LITERALLY DYING (jk I know the definition of the word) to know, what is my Women’s History Month shower pick? This is weird, but I’m picking the Ultraviolet for its hedonistic energy. Drink up. Ellen’s Women in Wine Articles: More Wine Women Wine Women Women in Castles Down by the Loire River ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Ellen in Lalaland: Enter the Valley The Riesling Chronicles, Part One: Old vs. New Love Wine The Art of Wine Labels A Grand Crew Indeed You can also listen to Ellen's podcast , The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! With Maryam Ahmed Wine Situation Final Five! With Lamar Woods

Sandar & Hem

Mindego Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay 2019

Rich and winsome, keeping things light. It doesn’t knock you over so much as gives you a love tap of oak-y vanilla and lees-borne cream. All balanced with spritely minerality. Quite lovely, tastes great now and I think a couple years age will help everything knit together. — 2 years ago

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Geodesy Wines

Sage Ridge Vineyard Red Bordeaux Blend 2018

Goedesy’s work is tremendous on all fronts. You’ll feel really good about yourself drinking it every which way — 2 years ago

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Leah Jørgensen Cellars

Southern Oregon Cabernet Franc 2020

Leave it to Oregon to give me a Cabernet Franc I’d call lifted. — 2 years ago

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Ultraviolet Wines

California Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Quite gulp-able as far as Cabs go my goodness. Samantha Sheehan’s enthusiasm for fresh but decadent wines shows up—it’s Cabernet’s night out dancing as opposed to Cabernet to sit and enjoy a steak with Cab. Lithe Cab who knew. — 2 years ago

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Barnard Griffin

Rosé of Sangiovese 2021

Yum-diddli-umptious. Bright and thirst-trappy but sturdy. — 2 years ago

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