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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

As I sat down for a seminar at the 2018 Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival titled “The Future is Female: The Next Generation of American Wine,” I was excited to listen to a panel of women discuss taking the reins of their family wineries. As I looked at the panel of women sitting in front of me, I sat up a little straighter as I was so proud and inspired to see only women sitting there.

On one end of the table was Esther Mobley, the wine, beer and spirits writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. After graduating from Smith College, Esther worked harvests at two wineries, worked in retail and at a restaurant and then followed the path of a writer, working at Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and now the San Francisco Chronicle. On the other end of the table was Christie Dufault, a former sommelier at top restaurants who today is the associate professor of wine and beverage studies at The Culinary Institute of America. In between these two formidable presences were four women who are taking over their family wineries.

Last year at Pebble Beach Food and Wine, I attended a seminar featuring a vertical tasting of the first growth of Royal Tokaji. This was by far the “tasting of a lifetime” and one that could never be repeated. However, the great thing about wine is that there are many “tastings of a lifetime,” those times when the lineup of wines is like no other, cannot be duplicated and only in your wildest imagination would you have thought about it. And that is what happened at the ninth annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine event. Tete du Cuvee Rose - Exploring Rose The weekend started with a tasting of Tete du Cuvee Rose Champagne. Exploring this more robust style of Champagne, I thought life was really good at this point as I sat with glasses of pink bubbles in front of me from the following producers: