It was a relatively busy month for those of us championing a bit of the old gender equality in the drinks trade. To be fair, those passionate about maintaining gender disparity might have been busy as well, we don’t know. Constantly tweeting “it’ll be illegal to ask out a woman next,” nodding along to Donald Trump diatribes and being furious Caitlin Moran was taught how to write, is probably quite time consuming. Anyway, while they were doing that, at the grown-ups table people were celebrating the 100-year anniversary of women winning the right to vote and International Women’s Day.
Throughout 2018 we’ve been showcasing some of the finest wines in our range that also happen to be grown, vinified and bottled by women. Below we are featuring 3 female winemakers, that produce some of our top selling wines.
Anette Closheim produces modern, premium wines grown on the banks of the river Nahe. She supplies the sommeliers of top chefs and was the first winemaker to win the "Riesling Discovery of the Year" wine world award. Luckily for us, she also agreed to sell her wines through Oddbins!
In a short time, Anette Closheim has made a name for herself as a winemaker. In the 150-year-old winery owned by her family, she grows highly ripe grapes, with a focus on the purity and concentration of the fruit.
Anette studied wine business and was initially a product manager for a range of Single Malt Whiskies and premium vodkas.
Thanks to these influences, the wines are presented in casually elegant bottles backed up by the quality of wines which are testament to the dedication Anette commits in the vineyard and the winery.
Claudie Jobard is following in the footsteps of her mother; Laurence Jobard, who gained great acclaim as one of the best oenologists in France. Under Laurence's watchful eyes, Claudie simply makes wonderful wines. She is meticulous in the fields because she knows you cannot make great wines unless you start with great fruit. She also believes that the wine is mostly "made" in the vineyards, not the cellars. Therefore, she strikes a balance between letting the terroir and grapes express themselves while also adding a few loving touches to influence the process.
Claudie not only produces excellent wines under her own label, but also works as a winemaker at Remoissenet. Below are two perfect examples of her prowess. meticulous in the fields because she knows you cannot make great wines unless you start with great fruit. Claudie also knows that the wine is mostly "made" in the vineyards, not the cellars. Therefore, she strikes a balance between letting the terroir and grapes express themselves while also adding a few loving touches to influence the process.
First Creek’s star winemaker has collected an impressive number of awards, while still producing top-notch wines for her own label in her spare time. Liz Silkman tirelessly makes wine under the First Creek label and for 25 different clients at First Creek’s contract winemaking facility, so it was no real surprise when she was crowned 2016 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year.
Growing up in Cessnock, Silkman never had the wine industry on her radar, despite having a relative making wine at Lake’s Folly and wine “always being around”. Surprisingly, no-one ever suggested a winemaking career to the budding student whose strong suits were maths and science. But while working in the cellar door at Pepper Tree Wines, winemaker Chris Archer called for some help in the winery and Silkman’s interest was sparked. “I liked the machinery and the process,” says Silkman. “It was something so new, exciting and different.”
In 1999, armed with a freshly minted science degree, she heard on the grapevine that P.J. Charteris from Brokenwood was looking for a lab technician. Silkman landed the job, but found it was not for her. “I was terrible at it and I found it tediously boring.” So, she asked Charteris about spending some time in the cellar alongside Nick Paterson. Despite the long hours, modest wage and physical, on-the-job training, she loved it and was drawn in by the winemakers’ infectious passion for wine.
In 2002, while doing vintage in New Zealand, Silkman was offered an assistant winemaker position at Tempus Two by Sarah-Kate Dineen. “I came home in a heartbeat,” says Silkman.
Before they could make any wine, they had to build the winery, which Silkman recounts as “an amazing opportunity”. It was the openness of the working relationship with Dineen that allowed Silkman’s knowledge to soar. Today she is one of the most respected winemakers in the Southern hemisphere and is the hand behind the wonderful First Creek Shiraz and First Creek Chardonnay that have been excellently received by both Oddbins staff and customers since we started stocking them in 2016.