Women and wines
In Burgundy, Beaujolais, Bordeaux… women are uniting and defending their values.
In the old days, women were restricted to a role of second importance. Here they are now! Playing the main roles, using their assets to make business and defend their values.
They have been here since the beginning, and they have often been overshadowed by man. One tells that they were restricted to the most unrewarding tasks, that they were only entitled to be the "wife of"… The 21st century woman is emancipated. She holds the reins on her own, with her husband or in family. At Vinexpo or at other professional fairs, on the web… they are everywhere from now on. Journalists started to depict the coming of feminine wines, usually, in a disrespectful way. Nevertheless women refute this idea and prefer speaking of their feminine contribution to a rather masculine sector, not to mention male chauvinist. If woman is the future of mankind, she must necessarily be the future of viticulture. Since the end of the 90’s, woman is taking her future in hand and forming groups.
In Beaujolais, Joëlle de Lescure’s Les Étoiles en Beaujolais are amongst the firsts to form a group. Founded in 1998, this association has become an Economic Interest Grouping. Why an EIG ? Because these women are strong. One could think that they gather to talk about fashion and tell each other about their daily troubles. Not at all, together these 12 women (there are 12 areas under protected designation in Beaujolais) reach new markets and develop their business. "We have set up an efficient logistic platform, in our concern to offer you the benefits of a flawless service quality", explains Joëlle de Lescure. "In direct relationship, with a unique representative, you will even more appreciate the business we will maintain together." Their femininity, for a long time seen as a handicap, has now become a strength, a marketing claim. Militants… ok… but not only. Women promote their winegrower title, their vineyard but above all their wines.
The Burgundy women of Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne do not agree definitely. Although the association is open to making business, the commercial aspect is not their only leitmotiv. Anne Gros, Fabienne Bony, the president Virginie Taupenot-Daniel and the others rather see their grouping as "a means to stick together", to give each other a hand and advices. One will offer her services or contacts when another experiences some difficulties in the vineyard, in the cellar or with the company’s paperwork… Most of the feminine movements clearly claim philanthropic purposes, some of these promoting "values".
Let’s mention for instance Femmes vignes Rhône which advocates "the work of women in the wine industry" in its statutes.
As a proof of its campaigns' success, Femmes de Vin was recently founded to become the first feminine "society"; On a national scale, it gathers 80 winegrowers from different regions of France : Alsace, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Rhone Valley, Provence, Languedoc, Medoc, Touraine… "A unique and major event in the world of wine."