Not only does Arizona have a thriving wine industry, but there’s a vast breadth of talented women working there in the industry to bring women-made, women-supported and women-affiliated wines to market.
Gayle Glomski and her husband Eric, owners of Page Springs Cellars, near Sedona, traveled to Champagne in France, a few years ago, during which Gayle was inspired by a serendipitous meeting with the owner of the Duval-Leroy winery. Madame Duval-Leroy and her husband had collaborated to reconstruct the winery for her to take over after his anticipated death. Upon his passing, she hired a female vineyard manager, a female winemaker and created a wine called Femme de Champagne in honor of women.
A light bulb went off for Gayle. And she took the idea back to Page Springs’ cellar mistress, Bree Nation (also co-owner of The Oddity Wine Collective). Together, they ran the idea by Lauren Maldonado, multi-faceted manager at Page Springs (and co-owner of Art of Wine—also in Sedona, Arizona). They collaborated on a mission statement for their project: A wine produced by women to highlight the vitality and feminine strength within the world of wine.
Bree had the idea to extend the project beyond helping women in the wine community to include helping women in the Verde Valley, which lead them to work with The Verde Valley Sanctuary, a local non-profit organization that provides shelter and support for women who have survived domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. A new wine label was born: Vin De Filles (French for “Girls’ Wine”).
With everyone’s blessing, Gayle, Bree and Lauren went to work. In fact, the seeds of the project went further back to Gayle’s days supervising a harvest. She managed a grape pick in 2019. And while on the back of a truck dumping grapes from buckets into their fermentation bin, she noticed that the picking crew was mostly women embracing grueling physical labor. It was this ‘ah ha’ moment when Gayle thought, “We need to recognize and support the women behind the production of winemaking as Madame Duval-Leroy has done!”
In the past two years, the Vin de Filles’ group of women helping on the project has grown to include women between the ages of 11 and 68. They’ve nurtured Malvasia and Syrah grape varieties since the beginning of the 2020 winegrowing season. Their female team started a co-fermentation with the two different grapes using wild yeast and pressed the finished fermentation with successful results! Now heading towards their release event, the project’s net profits will be donated to The Verde Valley Sanctuary for their housing expansion project, which will increase their capacity and provide the women of the shelter private accommodations for their families and pets.
The release party for this 100% women-produced wine will be hosted outdoors at Page Springs Cellars on Sunday, October 17th, and Monday, October 18th. The event will include a 5-course dinner with each food course prepared by a highly recognized Arizona female chef. And each food course will be paired with a female-supported wine.
An auction will be hosted and will include artwork created by local women, encouraging additional donations for The Verde Valley Sanctuary’s expansion project. (To donate an auction item for the release party, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.) And of course, the new Vin de Filles wine will be enjoyed by one and all.
Tune in to hear more about this all-female endeavor in Arizona’s great wine country, to buy tickets, and to learn about the women making it all possible. We’re raising a glass to Vin de Filles!
Show date: August 6, 2021