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Women Find Success in the Male-Dominated Wine Business

Largest gathering of women in the alcohol beverage industry


March 17, 2017

March is Women's History Month.

In celebration, the alcohol beverage industry's top female influencers from around the world reveal their approach to success in one of the most male-dominated industries.

This record-breaking gathering takes place at the Third Annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium, March 13-15, held at the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, California.

The history-making roster of speakers includes the alcohol beverage industry's most sought-after motivators, entrepreneurs, and experts from across the globe. From France, Margareth Henriquez, President & Chief Executive Officer, Krug Maison de Champagne; from South Africa, Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, House of Mandela; from Argentina, Susana Balbo, Founder & Owner, Susana Balbo Wines; from Italy, Marilisa Allegrini, Chief Executive Officer, Allegrini Estates; and from Australia, Dianne Laurance, Founder, Laurance Wines. Other notable influencers include Gina Gallo, Senior Director of Winemaking, E. & J. Gallo Winery; Stephanie J. Macleod, Master Blender, John Dewar & Son's Ltd.; Annette Alvarez-Peters, AIWS, CWE, Asst. Vice President, GMM, Beverage Alcohol, Costco Wholesale; Victoria MacRae-Samuels, Vice President, Operations, Maker's Mark Distillery; Elizabeth McCall, CSS, Woodford Reserve Master Taster & Sr. Quality Control Specialist, Brown-Forman; Caley Shoemaker, Head Distiller, Hangar 1 Vodka, Proximo; and Béatrice Cointreau, Owner & Chief Executive Officer, ADMIRABLE Family Vineyards, Malibu.

Special Guest Speaker, Co-founder and Executive Director of the National Women's History Project and organizer of the first-ever Women's History Week in the nation, Molly Murphy MacGregor, will join Women of the Vine & Spirits Founder & President, Deborah Brenner on stage to kick-off the three-day event.

"With the faith of the wine and spirits industries behind her, Deborah Brenner has sparked a revolution with Women of the Vine & Spirits and the Global Symposium," said Co-Owner, Trade and Brand Advocate, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Cynthia Lohr. "We have the opportunity to continue the passionate dialogue that supports the advancement of women in wine and spirits through networking, mentorship, by fostering leadership groups within companies and organizations, and by inviting all stakeholders to the table to seize and leverage the influence of female executives in the alcohol beverage industry."

According to Nielsen research, women account for 57 percent of wine volume in the U.S. and Fred Minnick, author of Whiskey Women claims women represent 37 percent of whiskey imbibers in the U.S. In fact, women account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases, controlling $4.3 trillion of the $5.9 trillion in annual consumer spending (Source: Nielsen 2013).

"Women are an increasingly important force in driving trends and alcohol sales," said Founder & President, Women of the Vine & Spirits, Deborah Brenner. Adding, "Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the industry has so much to gain from more diversity. Having more women in leadership roles drives innovation and creativity which directly impacts the bottom line. Women of the Vine & Spirits is committed to the advancement of women and ensuring the next generation is being mentored to take leadership roles. We have started a movement - a revolution - and together, we can change the face of the alcohol beverage industry."

The Third Annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium is sold out, but tickets are available to purchase Livestream/On-Demand access to view the Symposium's most sought-after keynote speakers and presenters. Visit for more information and to purchase your tickets.

About Women of the Vine & Spirits: Women of the Vine & Spirits is the world's leading membership organization dedicated to the support and advancement of women in the alcohol beverage industry, fostering gender diversity and talent development across the industry at large. Guided by an advisory board of top executives in the alcohol beverage industry, Women of the Vine & Spirits offers extensive education, advocacy, training, mentorship, networking and steadfast support for women at every position in the field, particularly through the annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium, March 13-15, 2017 in Napa, California. For more information, please visit

For a full list of Corporate Partners including those at the Silver, Bronze and Associate level, and to become a member of Women of the Vine & Spirits, please visit For those interested in corporate partnership opportunities, please email [email protected] or call 888.750.1863.


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