Feature on Female Winemakers
At Wine Insiders, we are proud to celebrate winemakers of all origins and backgrounds in our pursuit of curating a diverse, delicious, and representative selection of the world’s best vino.
While we often place the spotlight on particular varietals/blends or wine-producing countries, there’s no better time than the present to shine a light on the prolific winemakers behind some of our favorite bottles and growing regions.
We are proud to present our Feature on Female Winemakers to provide much-needed insight into the incredible women behind some of our best wines and favorite wineries:
Jeanne Vigouroux – Georges Vigouroux Wine
Born into a rich winemaking tradition, Jeanne Vigoroux carries the pressure and success of her familial calling with great poise.
While she may be young -- she just finished her university studies -- Vigoroux proudly represents the fifth generation of her family to enter the legendary French wine industry.
At Georges Vigouroux, her family winery, the young Vigoroux spends her days working with expert growers and winemakers to craft lovely Malbec -- her family’s most famous wine.
While France’s wine industry is certainly competitive, vin is more than a business for Jeanne Vigouroux; it’s a conduit for unforgettable moments shared with loved ones:
“Making wine allows us to create moments of joy, allowing people to buy a moment of pleasure. It is an exciting profession, a creative profession that is constantly evolving. I hope over time to continue the family business and create Malbec that people will remember."
Sally Carusi & Anneka Morrison – Cranswick Wines
Sally Carusi and Anneka Morrison are perfect examples of modern women in winemaking tremendous impacts at their home winery: Cranswick Wines in Australia.
In the early days of her wine career, Anneka Morrison viewed her position as a vintage casual in a Cranswick laboratory as a short-term gig. As a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences degree, she intended for her winery stint to be a brief stepping stone — perhaps into another industry.
However, Morrison soon fell in love with Cranswick and the wine industry and decided she’d found a long-term home.
Since joining the winery in 2014, she’s earned a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Wine, secured a position assisting the organization and packaging of Cranswick wines and carved out a well-earned role for herself in the industry.
Sally Carusi’s time in the wine industry resembles Morrison’s but takes place over a lengthier period.
Since joining Cranswick as a lab assistant in 1996, Carusi also secured a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Wine and earned her way up the winery’s ladder.
Over the past 25 years, Carusi has learned and worked in all facets of the winery and its winemaking process.
She assisted directly in Cranswick’s bottling, oversaw a share of white wine production, ran the production of all commercial and premium red wine varieties, and now helps coordinate both red and white wines from development to finished products.
With all her experience and expertise, it’s little surprise that Carusi often works as a wine show judge at regional and national competitions in Australia.
Cecilia Simon – Tuzko Birtok
Since completing high school in Hungary in 1980, Cecilia Simon has worked her way up through the country’s wine industry to become one of its finest female winemakers.
Simon’s early career saw her work in the historical Hungarian wine region of North – Transdanubium, where she acquired the basis of her knowledge about winemaking in a viticultural laboratory.
The following four decades of experience would test Simon, but she continued to grow and develop as a winemaker.
During Hungary’s transition out of communism from the late 1980s through the 1990s, she found success in its national wine market before utilizing knowledge from her global travels and experience to sell hundreds of thousands of bottles of Hungarian wine internationally.
After working as production director at a winery in Balantand Highland run by Hungary’s richest person from 2000-2010, Simon took on her current position as chief winemaker at the Tűzkő Birtok winery of the country’s Tolna region.
With her penchant for hard work and good wine, Simon earns plenty of acclaim on the global wine scene and perfectly exemplifies the value of diversity in wine.
Sandrine Boin – Maison Le Star
When Sandrine Boin was born in 1973 in the little town of Saint-André-et Appellees in Bordeaux, there was little doubt wine would play a significant role in her life:
Raised in a vin-loving family with a small estate in French wine country, Boin knew from a very young age that she wanted to follow her parents’ path and study vine-growing and winemaking.
At 20 years old, she completed her studies and soon after started her career as an agricultural technician in enology.
While a significant financial crisis led to the sale of her family’s Bordeaux estate in the 1990s, Boin continually challenged herself to find new viticultural horizons that inspired and challenged her.
Her efforts paid off.
From the 1990s through the 2010s, Boin gained invaluable experience throughout the French wine industry, leading her to her current, prestigious role as winemaker manager at Château Grandefont for Maison Le Star.
Jocelyn Carrasco – Cremaschi Furlotti
Jocelyn Carrasco used her profound love of Malbec to climb her way up the ladder at Cremaschi Furlotti, a Chilean winery with rich Italian roots.
As a younger employee, Carrasco’s enthusiasm inspired the Furlotti family to add Malbec as a single variety to its top tier of wines. While actively working to develop and produce their new, world-class version of this exciting red, she showed her promise, determination, and remarkable wine knowledge.
This development highlighted the value of Carrasco’s with-honors degrees in enology and viticulture and perfectly mirrored her previous decade of hard work at Cremaschi Furlotti.
Now an assistant to the head winemaker, Carrasco certainly has made the most of her passion, talent, and drive to find great success at only 33 years of age. There’s no doubt she has more great ideas and wines to offer in the coming years.
Sandrine Pineaud – Maison Benoit Valerie Calvet
Sandrine Pineaud is a wine star who puts her viticultural passion, education, and drive to excellent use:
Utilizing her dual master’s degrees in enology -- the study of wines -- and Business Administration from the prestigious University of Bordeaux, Pineuad maintains a stellar reputation in the complex, competitive world of French vin.
Through years of work in iconic French regions like Nimes, Madiran and Bordeaux, she’s gained invaluable, highly sought-after expertise in blending and quality control.
As she has for years, Pineaud currently works as an oenologist at the esteemed Maison Benoit Valerie Calvet (aka the “BVC”). This renowned international wine firm maintains an excellent image internationally, and there’s no doubt Pineaud’s work plays a part in this.
While the wine industry certainly brings its challenges, 20 years of education and experience haven’t dulled this female winemaker’s love for her craft.
“The art of blending is to make the sum of what [we] are blending better than each individual wine… every day [we] create new wines that fit the tastes of the consumers.”
Heather Fraser – Free Run Juice
At Australia’s Free Run Juice winery, Heather Fraser is the female star of the winemaking show -- though she took an unconventional academic path to the wine industry:
After completing degrees in marine biology and chemistry, she moved to Australia’s famed Barossa region -- an area of the country known for its excellent wine.
The move sparked Fraser’s winemaking curiosity, inspiring her first step toward a life in wine in the form of a job at FRJ’s laboratory in 1999.
In the two-plus decades since, she’s continued her viticultural studies, acquired rich winemaking experience, and moved from strength to strength throughout the winery.
Marrying her scientific passions for conservation and her profound love of wine, Fraser now heads Free Run Juice’s organic wine collection, a passion project that reaps great wine and environmental benefits.
Wine Insiders: Your New Home for Wine
Now that you’ve met some of Wine Insiders’ favorite female winemakers, it’s time to explore our diverse and delicious collection of affordable wines:
Whether you’re looking for a bottle of your favorite red to pair with dinner or a 12-bottle case mixing the best of Italian vino for a summer trip, we have the varietals and blends you need for any occasion.
For more information about wines, storage, and more - check out our entire library of Wine 101 Guides!