Five Women in Wine, Blazing Trails While Raising Kids

With Mother’s Day upon us, it feels more important now than ever to shine a light on the lady vintners and winery owners who are not only thriving in the wine industry, but are owning it while raising a family. These women juggle all of the responsibilities that accompany running their households while also running a business (or multiple businesses). It’s a tall order, but these moms make it look easy. Take a moment to learn about these five successful moms who have established themselves in this industry, all while blazing trails and making boss moves. 

Trizanne Barnard

Award Winning Winemaker, Business Woman, Mom of Two

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After receiving her degree in viticulture and enology, Trizanne Barnard, of Trizanne Signature Wines, worked multiple vintages across Australia, France, Portugal, and her homeland of South Africa. In 2008 she launched Trizanne Signature Wines and now, 12 years later, her wines are shipping internationally and she is known as a leading wine specialist. 

Trizanne Signature Wines are made to express elegance as well as fruit. The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are sourced from Elim, where prevailing winds provide a cool ripening season. The Syrah and Grenache are sourced from the Swartland. All grapes are carefully nurtured and selected, to ensure that only the best make it to bottle. 

Sally Johnson

Influential California Winemaker, Winemaking Consultant, Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes Whisperer, Mom of Two

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After obtaining a Master’s degree in winemaking, Sally Johnson began her career as a winemaker. She spent eight years at St. Francis Winery and Vineyards, worked a vintage in Australia at St. Hallett Winery, and made three vintages of her own wine before joining the team at Pride Mountain Vineyards in Napa Valley. She is thrilled to be charged with handcrafting Pride’s distinctive wines. Now with two 100-point wines to her credit, her efforts have obviously paid off! 

Pride’s goal is to make intensely flavored wines that reflect and honor their unique growing situation at 2100 feet elevation.  Their vineyards mainly face south and are above the fog layer which results in vines bathed in sunshine from morning to evening throughout the growing season. These distinct growing conditions result in big red wines that are on the black-fruit side of the ripeness spectrum but that nonetheless are loaded with varietal character and a nice amount of acidity on the finish. Their whites are distinguished by having a strong flavor intensity while simultaneously remaining fresh and lively in the mouth.  

Lauren Belden

Co-Founder and Chief Creative Cultivator of Belden Barns Farmstead & Winery,  Brand Expert, Author, Mom of Two

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Lauren Belden is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she majored in English and Creative Writing. She is a published writer, avid traveler, a passionate brand expert, and the co-founder of Belden Barns. Prior to establishing a freelance branding and innovation career, Lauren worked for a number of advertising agencies and brand strategy shops, helping clients like Domino’s, FedEx and Chanel create products and experiences that transform consumers from occasional brand users to passionate brand loyalists. Lauren is thrilled to help her husband Nate turn Belden Barns into a truly unique tasting experience that offers its members the kind of welcoming and engaging community she delights in building from the ground up.

Belden Barns is known to have one of the best vineyards in California. Their fruit is used by highly discerning wine producers including Argot, Carlisle, Donelan Family, Enkidu, Eric Kent, Holdredge, Three Sticks, and Vaughn Duffy. Matching grape varietal to appropriate climate is one of the most important variables in creating great wine, and Belden Barns’ 1000 ft elevated Sonoma Mountain perch above the Bennett Valley provides a very accommodating home for the cool-climate grapes they grow.

Kathryn Hall

Winemaker/Proprietor of Hall Wines, Businesswoman, Lawyer, Community Activist, Former USA Ambassador to Austria, Mom of Four

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Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines (and WALT Wines), and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard in the 1970’s. Long committed to social issues, Kathryn has served on numerous non-profit and institutional boards, addressing issues related to social care and mental health. She co-founded the North Texas Food Bank, served on the U.S. House of Representatives Hunger Advisory Committee, and was the director/vice president of the Texas Mental Health Association. 

HALL’s estate vineyards stretch from ancient riverbeds on the valley floor to sun-drenched hilltops, encompassing approximately 150 acres of classic Bordeaux varietals. In their pursuit to craft the finest varietals possible, each HALL estate vineyard was strategically chosen for its elevation, microclimates and soil types. Roughly half of all the grapes HALL uses come from their Estate Vineyards, the other half come from vineyards from around the valley. Sourcing from over 70 vineyards, their viticulture team works tirelessly to seek out the best grapes available.

Ashley Heisey

Winemaker, Vice President of Winemaking of Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Mom of Two

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With an M.S. in Enology, Ashley Heisey has enjoyed a wide range of winemaking experiences. She interned in Germany’s Rheingau and France’s Bordeaux regions. She has worked in various capacities at several Napa Valley wineries, including Opus One, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Schramsberg Vineyards. She participated in two harvests a year by traveling to the southern hemisphere every year between 1997 and 2000 to catch harvests in Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile. While guiding production at Long Meadow Ranch, Ashley also makes wines under her own label in the winery’s facility. Her very limited production Syrah was released under the Heisey brand, Marelle, in 2004.

Ashley became Long Meadow Ranch’s principal winemaker in 2004, and is responsible for making distinctive wines from their organically farmed estate vineyards, which are located high in the Mayacamas Mountains above Rutherford. Varietals produced at Long Meadow Ranch include Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. 

As we approach the time of year to show our appreciation to moms for their love, sacrifice, and ingenuity, it just makes sense for us to focus on women in the wine industry who are creating and producing award-winning wines while juggling family life, running multiple businesses, or thriving as they pursue their careers. They’re veritable superwomen, but they don’t see themselves this way. They’re simply doing what they enjoy for themselves and the people they love, one day at a time. They’re examples, not just for other moms or women, but for anyone striving for success.  

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