15 best wines by women to toast with this International Women’s Day 2022

·9-min read
Traditionally a very male-dominated industry, there is a new breed of female winemakers creating innovative plonk (iStock/The Independent)
Traditionally a very male-dominated industry, there is a new breed of female winemakers creating innovative plonk (iStock/The Independent)

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

The theme for this year’s IWD is #BreakTheBias, a call for us all to challenge gendered stereotypes and discrimination whenever we hear and see it.

This is something we think this group of winemakers is doing because they’re holding prominent positions in what is, traditionally, a very male dominated industry.

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.

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The best wines by women for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Ayala brut majeur champagne: £31.25, Thewhiskyexchange.com

  • Best prosecco – Della Vite valdobbiadene prosecco superiore DOCG NV: £26, Harveynichols.com

  • Best dry white – Susana Balbo crios torrontés: £14.99, Selfridges.com

  • Best organic wine – Christina gruner veltliner: £18, Forestwines.com

  • Best vegan red – De Andrés Sisters mountain wine: £13.35, Boroughwines.co.uk

  • Best natural wine – Slobodne deviner: £27, Silverlininge9.com

  • Best pale rosé – Kylie Minogue rosé wine: £9, Tesco.com

  • Best for pinot noir fans – Veronic Ortega quite mencía: £22.10, Nattyboywines.co.uk

  • Best rioja – Bodegas Amézola de la Mora Berry Bros. & Rudd rioja: £13.50, Bbr.com

  • Best canned wine – Nice argentinian malbec: £20, Nice-drinks.co.uk

  • Best boxed wine – Laylo lot #1 tempranillo: £24.99, Drinklaylo.com

  • Best chablis – M&S organic famille brocard chablis: £16, Ocado.com

  • Best value – Cramele Recas solomonar reserve red: £9.99, Majestic.co.uk

  • Best full-bodied red – Yalumba galway barossa shiraz: £13.49, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best British wine – Bolney Estate pinot noir: £22.99, Majestic.co.uk

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, or 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.

Buy now £31.25, Thewhiskyexchange.com

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.

Buy now £26.00, Harveynichols.com

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.

Buy now £14.99, Selfridges.com

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.

Buy now £18.00, Forestwines.co.uk

De Andrés Sisters mountain wine

Best: Vegan red

  • ABV: 13.5%

  • Size: 75cl

Winemakers and sisters Ruth and Ana De Andrés are all about expressing the distinct terroir in their wine. In this case, that’s garnacha, grown in the mountainous area of Ávila, just north of Madrid. Natural and vegan, we loved the pure red fruit and touch of minerality. It’s also part of Borough Wine’s fantastic return bottle scheme, which cuts carbon emissions by about 30 per cent compared to a standard bottle.

Buy now £13.35, Boroughwines.co.uk

Slobodne deviner

Best: Natural wine

  • ABV: 12.5%

  • Size: 75cl

The family that run Slobodne, meaning “freedom” in Slovak, are winemaking legends. Established in 1912, the vineyards were lost twice, the first time to the Second World War and then again to the rule of the communist government. The sisters that tend the vines today reclaimed the land in 1997, and this perfumed natural wine is the result. It’s had just 10 days of skin contact and is full of zesty grapefruit and lychee flavours.

It’s stocked at Silver Lining, an East London wine bar specialising in orange and skin contact styles, and is a great place to stock up on more of the natural stuff.

Buy now £27.00, Silverlininge9.com

Kylie Minogue rosé wine

Best: Pale rosé

  • ABV: 12.5%

  • Size: 75cl

You’re going to want a glass of Kylie’s perfectly light and refreshing provençal blush rosé to accompany any early spring sunshine. Bursting with red berries and fragrant white blossom, this is a textbook pink. Plus, if you’re a clubcard member you can get £2 off the price.

Buy now £9.00, Tesco.com

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.

Buy now £22.10, Nattyboywines.co.uk

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.

Buy now £13.50, Bbr.com

Nice argentinian malbec

Best: Canned wine

  • ABV: 13.5%

  • Size: 250ml a can

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 (which, with notes of juicy cherry and plum, it really does), but 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.

Buy now £20.00, Nice-drinks.com

Laylo lot #1 tempranillo

Best: Boxed wine

  • ABV: 13%

  • Size: 2.25l

Forget everything you thought you knew about boxed wine. Founded during lockdown by two female former Naked Wines colleagues, Laylo showcases independent winemakers via a box format. Not only is it better for the environment but it keeps wine fresh for up to six weeks and is equivalent to three bottles.

The company’s first wine is made by the aforementioned Ruth and Ana de Andres sisters, but this time it’s an ultra-quaffable tempranillo with a touch of oak ageing. It’s all packaged up in a pretty printed box inspired by tapas bars (remember them?), making it a boxed wine we are very happy to have on display.

Buy now £24.99, Drinklaylo.com

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.

Buy now £16.00, Ocado.com

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.

Buy now £9.99, Majestic.co.uk

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.

Buy now £13.49, Amazon.co.uk

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 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.

Buy now £22.99, Majesic

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 or mountain wine by De Andrés Sisters.

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