The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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42  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Women in Wine: 2014 Harvest Trip Above left: the Women in Wine group with their gracious hosts Karen Hunt, Jim Allen and Georges Daou of DAOU Vineyards. Above right: Tabitha Alger and Nadia Zilkha of Laetitia Vineyards. I recently had the pleasure of joining the "Women in Wine" of Southern Wine & Spirits for a trip to the Central Coast. This wonderful and amazing group was established two years ago as a leadership team of women, looking to grow and flourish in their careers at Southern, to mentor and be mentored and expand their education. "We are so thankful to be able to continue to grow together and to share the passion and vision that each of us have for the industry, our company and our supplier partners. Amazing opportunities and experiences such as this will stay with us forever," says Loulie De La Torre, American Chain Account Executive. Our 2014 Harvest trip kicked off with a tour and a blind tasting at Laetitia Winery, led by Tabitha Alger, Regional Sales Manager for the winery, who guided us through the winery. After seeing the still and sparkling winemaking processes and learning how to "riddle" spar- kling wine bottles, we then joined Nadia Zilkha, owner of Nadia Wines and Laetitia Winery, for lunch overlooking the beautiful vineyards. It was an early morning the next day to pick at DAOU Vineyards, where proprietors Georges and Daniel Daou taught us the proper way to harvest, sort and crush grapes—with- out losing fingers or getting eaten alive by the various insects that live in the canopy and clusters. We were met in the vineyards by Karen Hunt, President of DAOU, and Jim Allen, Ambassadeur de la Famille of DAOU Vineyards (industry veteran and former Senior VP of Fine Wine for SWS) and shared with the group their experiences in varying aspects of the wine industry. After an enjoyable day in the sun and amongst the vines, we all met for dinner to share our experiences and what we had learned. It was here at the table that the impor- tance of the Women in Wine became clear; to have such a talented and diverse group—from account executives to portfolio managers to sales reps—brought together to share their stories and accomplishments, advice and support, was truly inspiring. As the trip was coming to an end, we reflected on the days we spent together, expanding our knowledge of winemaking and connecting with other members of the company we might have not met otherwise. Karen Hunt said it best, in her observation of our group: "Each of us has a personal story which fuels our desire to be better in life, to drive and push forward and be the best that we can be. There is no question in my mind, after having the chance to interact with this group, that each of these women possess a big heart and a strong mind, with the capacity to draw from past experiences the knowledge, skills and attitude to get to the next level and beyond." by Leanne P. Chau California Publications & Marketing Director Southern Wine and Spirits

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