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The month of March was a crazy month as our lives changes and we were forced to social distance. But just before we went into lock down, I had the...

I recently wrote about having dinner with representatives from two wineries in Spain. What was all the more special about this dinner, aside from the delicious wines and exquisite food from Auburn Restaurant, was the company. I had the pleasure to dine with two women from two different regions who are both in positions of power at winery cooperatives. I shared their stories in the Napa Valley Register which you can read here. ************* I recently had dinner with representatives from two wineries in Spain. One winery is in Rias Baixes on the northwest corner and the other in Calatayud on the northeast corner. What both wineries have in common is that they are both cooperatives and both have women holding positions of power.
The wine world has long been dominated by men, and Spain, as much of the old world, has had a tradition of machismo. But women are making a name for themselves. Enrollment of women in Spain’s university winemaking programs has increased by more than 40 percent over the last 20 years. No longer stuck in the lab or in marketing, they are making the wine and running the wineries. And, I had the pleasure to sit down with two of these women and learn about them, their stories and taste their wines.
I love meeting winemakers and hearing their stories of how they fell onto the path of becoming a winemaker. Every person has a different journey as to what drew them into the wine industry. When I sat down with Megan McGrath Gates, winemaker at Lucas & Lewellen in the Santa Ynez Valley, she shared her story with me, which started with a childhood dream. But, even with a dream, she never imagined she would end up making wine. And yet she has. Megan's childhood dreams have become her reality as I wrote about recently in the Napa Valley Register and am sharing here.

When Megan McGrath Gates was a little girl, she would listen to the stories of her grandparents. A ninth-generation Californian, Gates was raised in Riverside. But, her ancestors were ranchers and she is a direct descendant of the historic Olivas family in Ventura, California.

Despite her ancestors, Gates was a typical suburban kid. Her dad is a lawyer and her mom is a teacher. She is one of six children and has a twin sister. With all of the romantic stories about her family, she dreamed about being a rancher and living a bucolic life.