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Women and organic wine: what role for winemakers and sommeliers?

As surprising as it may seem, in many countries around the world there are still jobs that are forbidden to women. Yes yes, in 2021, in the era where we can talk to each other instantly from one end of the planet to the other, where we are preparing to set foot on Mars where we can make sight to a blind man, some countries require women to have their husband's consent to work. With us, fortunately, women do not wait for the green light from the gentleman to choose the job of their dream. And that's good because the vines need everyone to be maintained!


Women winegrowers, mothers of the vineyards

Since childhood, nature has fascinated and amazed us. It is enough to watch children play in gardens and parks and to see their wide amazed eyes in front of a pine cone, a helicopter leaf or a bamboo branch to understand our obvious connection with fauna and flora.


Between taking care of your succulent at home and managing hectares of vines , the amount of work is very different. At Oé, we really like plants, we put some of them to decorate our premises. They bring us joy and happiness, and we cherish them, as if we were in companionship with them after all! It's Sonia who takes care of it, and the few plants we have are already taking her time. Imagine the winegrowers who have to take care of their expanses of vines as far as the eye can see .


Working in the vineyards is a profession of passion , which combines rigor , organization , know-how and love . For women, it hasn't always been easy to find a place in a fairly macho universe, and what's more, it requires a certain physical condition. A few years ago, Hubert Bonisseur de la Batte in OSS would have said to a woman wanting to become a winegrower: “We will talk about it again when we have to carry something heavy.” Today, Marie-Paule would probably have asked him to talk about it again over a glass of his red Languedoc to prove to him that it is not enough to have strong arms to make a good wine in organic farming .


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Winegrowers, patron saints of wine

Vinifying grapes is a real science and even if the recipe is known to everyone, everyone has their own secret . The different stages are complex , require real expertise and require real rigour . More and more winegrowers like Manon Deville, a 24-year-old young woman ready to put on the gloves of technical director of the estate to prove to the world that things must change at Château de la Rivière , a prestigious wine estate in Fronsac.


You don't think that's revolutionary? Well, know that less than twenty years ago, the winery of the very famous Romanée-Conti, displayed at the entrance “prohibited to women” . The legend says that the women swirled the wine, but we know that deep down, it is above all the heads of the men that they swirl!


One of the pioneers in this field is Francine Grill , a former airline pilot and a true fighter at heart. Known and recognized in the Languedoc for having restored the image of this marvelous wine region , it proposed for the first time in 1978, the bottling of this good wine which was then offered in bulk. His daughter Diane was voted winegrower of the year by the 2021 Hachette wine guide . As they say, dogs don't make cats!


Among the champions of the vine, let us also tell you about Dominique Hauvette who was elected in 2020, winegrower of the year by the Revue des Vins de France . At the height of her 70 years, yes, you read that correctly, Dominique cultivates her body and her mind as well as her vines . This septuagenarian, a former ski enthusiast, left the fresh mountain air to embrace the Provençal soil and cultivate beautiful Cinsault vines.

Women know how to cultivate and vinify just as well as men, it's all about loving what's in the glass. Moreover, our winemaker Franck wants no one but his wife to assemble the delicious red Bordeaux , which according to him, are sensational as soon as his wife puts her touch to it!

Winegrowers and winegrowers , like any good cook, make wines that resemble them. They develop recipes that express their personality, convey their emotions and reflect the fruit of their labor. Wines made by women are said to be more subtle, rounder in the mouth with a touch of freshness . These wines are highly appreciated and today the work of women in this universe finds its full meaning. The sector is becoming more feminized day by day and today, women wine producers represent almost a third of winegrowers. The late Gisèle Halimi would have toasted that!

Sommeliers and oenologists, experts at heart

Sommelier and oenologist , do you know these two marvelous professions well? When we talk about a dream job, we can think of that. You have surely already seen advertisements on your facebook wall for pizza tasters, bed testers and so on. Well, the professions of oenologist and sommelier are less bizarre and just as attractive .


The oenologist

The etymology of the word oenologist means “ one who has the science of wine ”, admit it, it's impressive. To acquire such expertise, the magic recipe is hard work and passion. To be a graduate in oenology , you have to follow a 5-year course during which you are told “ everything, everything, everything, you will know everything about wine! ”. The oenologist has many strings to his bow because he has legal , technical and scientific knowledge , he is in the vineyards , in the cellars , in tasting , on the stands , in the cellar . You have understood it, it is everywhere and we cannot do without it.

 

The oenologists advise the winegrowers throughout the year on the choice of grape varieties , the blends and also monitor the stages of vinification. It is partly thanks to them that you can taste good organic wine almost everywhere in France. At Oé, we thank Valérie , our oenologist , one of the oldest members of the team every day (even at the age of 50) who always shares with us her pretty smile , her unconditional love for wine and her incredible anecdotes . You can see her on our social networks, especially on several Instagram videos . If you want her to tell you a little more every day on our networks, don't hesitate to tell us (on instagram or at hello@oeforgood.com).


The sommelier

The sommelier is a wine encyclopedia, you give her the name of a bottle and she tells you her story. We have all already had fun serving the wine by presenting the bottle, and we have especially realized that it was a difficult exercise. To know the vintage , the grape varieties , the terroir , the appellations , the history of the estate and the aromas that the wine contains, you must be well prepared. Remembering your multiplication tables is already a nightmare, so imagine all the information a sommelier has to remember, you need a concrete memory!


The sommelier 's second role is to be the wine nanny . She takes care of it from start to finish, from purchase to service . She doesn't have a diaper to change or a child to feed, but bottles of wine are almost as demanding. The sommelier takes care of receiving the bottles , tidying up the cellar , she has a watchful eye on the conservation of the wine and keeps her cellar book to the letter . Like a supervisor in a boarding school, not a bottle goes in or out without her knowing.


Service is an art. In addition to the presentation of the bottles , the choice of glasses is part of the expertise of the sommeliers . At Oé, we know the basics and we know that our Crémant d'Alsace particularly appreciates being served in a flute. The sommelier goes further in the process and knows the different subtleties of all the shapes, thickness and material of the glass to be used. Queen of the assortment and gourmet in ideas, the sommelier offers the best food and wine pairings , to delight the taste buds of customers.


In 2018, in addition to our great victory in the World Cup, there is one person who has been talked about. Pascaline Lepeltier , won the Grand Slam by being elected Best Worker of France in Sommellerie , then Best Sommelier of France . This makes her the first female winner of this contest. Hats off!


We can recommend some food/wine pairings that we love:


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Women are engaged

The spirit of friendliness and sociability of women is a beautiful quality that everyone envies. In the world of wine where it is sometimes difficult to find a place, unity is strength. Several associations such as Les Vinifilles , Le Cercle des femmes du vin or Women Do Wine bring together women driven by wine and shared values.


(Source. LBV Selection)

Women are also very committed to the planet, which is good for the sector. Almost everywhere in France, you can therefore find wineries that offer good organic wines, natural wines and biodynamic wines .

We also have women involved. For example, Sonia takes care of the logistics and she works every day so that we produce as little waste as possible . It is thanks to her that we have responsible and super nice boxes , we have a lot of positive feedback so thank you very much!


If you are passionate about the relationship between women and the vine , we recommend the super book by Jean-Louis Escudier: “Women and the vine: an economic and social history 1850-2010” .


Discover our organic wines produced with love , containing less sulfur and without chemical pesticides in our beautiful wine regions of France. Treat yourself to our red wines, white wines and rosé wines such as Côtes-du-Rhône , Languedoc , Bordeaux , Vaucluse and Méditerranée .

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