Menu

FILTER BY

2019 Vintage

  • “California’s Next Generation Lead Women Winemakers And The Promise That Accompanies Their Success”

    Grape Collective 

    September 18, 2020
    By Lucia Albino Gilbert and John C. Gilbert

    “Our oft-cited 2011 study reported that only 10% of California wineries had a woman in their lead winemaker position. Our 2020 follow-up study indicated a modest but significant increase to 14% over the past nine years.1

    The career paths of women who moved into lead winemaker positions since our 2011 study, whom we call California’s Next Generation Lead Women Winemakers, illuminate important patterns of underlying change. These patterns hold promise in leveling the ‘playing field’ for California’s women winemakers.

    For this article, we identified sixteen ‘Next Generation’ women winemakers whose career paths illustrate one of three patterns. Two of the three reflect increased opportunity within what has been a traditionally male-dominated field:

    • The first lead woman winemaker appointed following mentorship by a senior male winemaker at the same winery, and 
    • The first woman winemaker hired into a lead winemaker position at a prominent winery.

    A reaffirming third pattern was also identified among their career paths:

    • Women winemakers who own their wineries or who work as independent consulting winemakers while also developing their own label.

    First Lead Woman Winemaker Appointed at a Well-Known Winery Following Mentorship by a Senior Male Winemaker at the Same Winery

    Although not everyone needs a mentor to be ‘successful,’ mentors are known to be important to career development. Mentors help their mentees develop a vision for themselves, learn important skills and knowledge, and gain self-confidence.

    Important illustrative examples come from the career paths of two pioneering women winemakers—MaryAnn Graf, California’s first lead women winemaker, appointed winemaker at Simi Winery in Healdsburg in 1973, and Jill Davis, at the time California’s youngest lead woman winemaker when appointed at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma in 1983 at age 27. Both were mentored by the esteemed André Tchelistcheff after his retirement from Beaulieu Vineyard in 1973. They described his mentorship as an intensive and supportive experience and central to their career success.

    Six of our Next Generation lead winemakers were mentored by a prominent senior male winemaker. Unlike Graf and Davis, however, these winemakers were mentored by a long-time male winemaker for a position at that same winery. It is not unusual for winemakers to continue in their role for many years, especially at family-owned wineries, and to seek exceptional young talent in filling positions that can help secure the winery’s future. Implicit gender bias, however, may make it more difficult for women to successfully compete for these positions. That these successful long-time winemakers at prominent wineries, all men, identified, hired, and then entered into a mentoring relationship with highly qualified young women destined to be appointed as the next winemaker represents an important shift in a male-dominated industry.

    The six winemakers are presented in order of when each winery was established to provide some context for the winery’s history, the mentoring, and the winemaker’s appointment.

    Heidi Bridenhagen, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County. 

    Founded in 1987 by Thale and Steve MacRostie, with Steve as its first winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen became its third winemaker in 2013.

    Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Heidi loved the outdoors, math, and science. She earned a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2006 and then spent time traveling through wine regions in Eastern and Western Europe. She knew on her return that she wanted to pursue a career that combined her scientific expertise and creative skills.

    Following a number of harvest and lab experiences in California and New Zealand, Heidi joined MacRostie in 2011, ironically the same day the MacRostie’s sold it. Not knowing what this would mean for her career path, her interview experience with Steve, who later became her mentor, was reassuring. According to Heidi, ‘We spent a few minutes discussing my qualifications, why I thought MacRostie would be a good fit, etc., and then he said, ‘It sounds like you are more than qualified for the job, but who are you and what do you like to do in your free time?’ We ended up talking for over an hour. . . It made me realize that this would be more than just a job, but a family where I could grow in my career.’

    In December 2013, the winemaker at the time decided to leave. Heidi laid out her 1-, 3-, and 5-year plans for the winery and became the next winemaker at the age of 27! She continues to work closely with Steve.

    A dynamic and gifted winemaker, Heidi consistently receives high scores and accolades for her wines. She does as many as 130 small fermentations each vintage from which to craft the winery’s noted Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

    Brief Summary

    These six young winemakers have in common their mentoring relationships with long-time winemakers who recognized and nurtured their talents and abilities, and in one case, even following a change in ownership. The wineries themselves are among California’s long-established wineries in Napa and Sonoma, with all dating back to at least 1987.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – ★★★★: Highly recommended

    The Press Democrat

    September 1, 2020
    By Peg Melnik

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – ★★★★: Highly recommended

    “A refreshing rosé with bright fruit coupled with crisp acidity. Notes of cherry, strawberry and mineral. Great balance. Nice length.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    Epoch Times

    August 12, 2020
    By Robert Whitley

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points 

     “Bursting with notes of strawberry and cherry, this is a crowd-pleasing dry rosé that just goes on and on. MacRostie is famous for its chardonnay and pinot noir, but now it seems rosé is getting in on that class act.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    Wine Review Online

    by Rich Cook
    August 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    “Bursting with notes of strawberry and cherry, this is a crowd-pleasing dry Rosé that just goes on and on. MacRostie is famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but now it seems Rosé is getting in on that class act.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 92 Points

    Wine Review Online

    by Rich Cook
    August 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    “The parade of exceptional Pinot Noir Rosé wines crossing my desk continues with this offering from a favorite producer of mine. It gets right to a lively mix of citrus, peach, and strawberry, and leaves those notes dancing on the palate in an extended fashion. The pigmentation was provided by a 50/50 combination of direct-to-press and saignée maceration methods, performed on fruit largely sourced from Thale’s Vineyard. This delivers the goods, and does so in high style.” 

  • The Press Democrat – MacRostie Rosé is a ‘Tasty Alternative’

    The Press Democrat

    by Peg Melnik
    August 4, 2020

    “Tasty Alternatives”

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – ★★★★: Highly recommended

    “Layered notes of grapefruit, orange rind, and spice. Crisp acidity. Nice length. Lovely.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    Creators.com

    by Robert Whitley 
    August 4, 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    “Bursting with notes of strawberry and cherry, this is a crowd-pleasing dry rose that just goes on and on. MacRostie is famous for its chardonnay and pinot noir, but now it seems rose is getting in on that class act.”

    Looking ahead at the 2019s, this was another cool year that has plenty of similarities to 2018, if not even a touch more freshness and acidity. I’ll taste these in-depth next year, but certainly, this will be another strong vintage for all of the Central Coast.

    The Wines

    While I was forced to cancel all my oversea trips due to COVID-19, I was able to drive to the Central Coast late in June of 2019 and do large AVA tastings as well as a handful of visits, which I tried to keep to a minimum. I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I enjoyed tasting through them and writing the report!”

  • Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide – 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    Wine Enthusiast

    by Virginie Boone
    October 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 91 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Rich and viscous, this wine is fruity in strawberry and dark cherry, with an herbal underbelly that contrasts well. While lush and opulent, it finishes crisp and clean.”

    Looking ahead at the 2019s, this was another cool year that has plenty of similarities to 2018, if not even a touch more freshness and acidity. I’ll taste these in-depth next year, but certainly, this will be another strong vintage for all of the Central Coast.

    The Wines

    While I was forced to cancel all my oversea trips due to COVID-19, I was able to drive to the Central Coast late in June of 2019 and do large AVA tastings as well as a handful of visits, which I tried to keep to a minimum. I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I enjoyed tasting through them and writing the report!”

  • “Your Guide to Great Summer Wines — Spectacular Sparkling, Rosé, White and Red Picks”

    PaperCity Magazine

    by James Brock
    July 18, 2020

    “Summer is fully in swing, and though it will be over before we know it, and will certainly be a, let’s say, unique, season, there is no reason for you to go without wine, especially wines new to you. (It’s always a good idea to buy something unfamiliar to you on a regular basis, while still enjoying your tried-and-true favorites.)

    You have been following the advice of Drs. Fauci and Hotez, your cooking skills have probably improved, and your dinner-party game is assuredly more impressive than it was back in February of this year — even if you’ve been preparing dishes for your immediate family only. You definitely deserve some delicious bottles of wine to pair with your creations (or your takeout fare).

    Here is your Summer Wine Guide (and these selections will be more than suitable for fall as well), a collection of bottles from quality producers whose approach to winemaking results in pleasure and exploration for the end user. . . you.

    You’ll find three bottles in each category of the guide — sparkling, rosé, white, and red. As a bonus, I’m including a few additional recommendations for your approval, a roster of wines I hope you’ll find intriguing.

    Rosé

    Many people hold the opinion that Rosé is best consumed in warmer weather, and while I do not want to discourage anyone from drinking it in, say, July or August, there is no need to restrict yourself in that manner. Rosé is not for summer only. That said, here are three bottles of (varying shades of ) pink that will go down well no matter the season.

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    Next, the 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley. This dry wine is drinking stunningly well — I shared a bottle with a friend a few days ago, and it is now on my reorder list. Saignée and direct-to-press are both used here, and the resulting wine is full of peach and strawberry and a touch of citrus.”

  • 5 Wines to Buy Now – 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé

    The Houston Chronicle

    by Dale Robertson
    June 24, 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 19.3 Points out of 20

    Dry, fresh and fruity. Ripe cherry, peach and tangerine with dried herbs. Very drinkable.”

  • “5 Wines to Buy Now”

    Houston Chronicle

    by Dale Robertson
    May 24, 2020

    “The Houston Chronicle’s tasting panel remains on hiatus until further notice, but we haven’t stopped swirling and sipping on our own. Here are five recommendations, sampled blindly, from a mix of eminently trustworthy individual tasters.

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 19.3 Points out of 20

    Dry, fresh and fruity. Ripe cherry, peach and tangerine with dried herbs. Very drinkable.”

  • 2019 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc

    The Press Democrat 

    by Peg Melnik
    June 9, 2020

    “Tasty Alternatives” 

    2019 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc – ★★★ ½: Good

    “Citrusy flavors play up front with tropical flavors playing back up. Seamless texture. Nice length. Smart.”

    Download full article here.