In One Region Of Spain, Women Dominate Winemaking

Spanish women in the Rías Baixas region are making a name for themselves producing the area’s speciality wine, Albariño. Albariño is a white wine with heavily fruited undertones, and some in the wine industry insult the female winemakers, saying Albariño is a women’s wine. But winemaker Luisa Freire Plana thinks “it’s a wine too complex for men.” The area is the only in Spain that produces solely white wine, and women run more than half of the region’s wineries. (Women have been becoming a force in other winemaking regions, such as the hamlet of Barolo, as well, so their dominance in the Rías Baixas region has nothing to do with the fact that the area specialized in white wine.) Albariño is actually made from the same grapes as simple table wines, so might assume that women winemakers are doing so well in this particular region because the wine they create is basic; however, the women use special techniques to create more complex wines from them. They’re taking something simple and making it more complicated, which men often say we do about everything, but in the case of Albariño, that’s not a bad thing. [WSJ]

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