An Italian woman winemaker finds a home at Tenuta Sette Cieli, Tuscany

No matter how forward-thinking the wine industry is, it is also steeped in tradition.

Wine has been made for more than 8,000 years, and progress has been made in all aspects of winemaking — grapegrowing, vineyard management and the winemaking process. Despite all the progress, the industry is seen, in many ways, as a male-dominated industry, especially when it comes to winemaking.

Sure, in the U.S., we are accustomed to seeing female winemakers, although, according to Wines Vines DATA, women hold the lead winemaker position at fewer than 10 percent of the California wineries polled.) In the “old world” of wine, tradition still abounds. Throughout my travels in Italy, France and beyond, I have met female winemakers but learned that they have all experienced challenges in being a female winemaker due to the preconceived ideas and prejudices from their colleagues.

Recently, I was invited to lunch with Elena Pozzolini, winemaker Tenuta Sette Cieli winery in Tuscany. I love meeting female winemakers and hearing their stories. But, I have to admit, that even I had some pre-conceived notions. I walked into the restaurant expecting to find a female winemaker but not the young, petite blond that I met.

Read the complete story in the Napa Valley Register.