Not only is Mothering Sunday on the horizon but next Thursday is International Women’s Day.
It’s often said woman are better wine tasters than men. Whether that's scientifically true or not the wine industry comprises many amazing women – from esteemed wine writers such as Jancis Robinson MW (Master of Wine) through to Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, of Château Mouton Rothschild fame.
So here's a selection of wines made by women to raise a glass to next week.
Helen Morrison is senior Marlborough winemaker at Villa Maria, one of New Zealand’s most prominent producers. Her passion for wine led to a career change and in 2005 she completed her Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology as top female student at Lincoln University, Christchurch.
Working for Villa Maria since 2014 she is responsible for many of the producer's most recognisable wines. Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 2017, Marlborough (Ocado, Waitrose, Majestic all £10.49 but £8.99 if part of a mixed six at the latter) shows why Marlborough's much more than a sauvignon blanc one trick pony. There's green apple and lime on the nose with juicy lime-like fruit on the palate alongside zesty acidity on the finish. It is just off dry and makes a lovely aperitif. It works well with Asian-inspired food.
Audrey Braccini is the winemaker at one of southern Burgundy’s most famous estates, Domaine Ferret in Pouilly Fuissé, and continues a
tradition of women winemakers going back to 1840. The estate was founded then by Jeanne Ferret who recognised the importance of ‘terroir’. The estate is now owned by Burgundy producer Louis Jadot which has continued to run the estate separately and on traditional lines.
Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuissé 2015 (Fareham Wine Cellar £28.50) has aromas of honey, apple, pear, apricots and spices with a crisp, beautifully-textured palate and a rich, long finish. Grown up wine to serve with seafood, roast chicken or veal.
Imperial Reserva 2012, Rioja (Majestic £22.99 or £19.99 in a mixed six, Waitrose £22.99) is classic Rioja, one of the region's finest wines. It is made by Maria Larrea, the chief winemaker at CVNE which produces Imperial as a flagship wine. It's called Imperial because the wine was once so loved in Britain it was shipped to us in pint bottles!
When you pull the cork it’s like re-acquainting yourself with an old friend. There are notes of red fruit, vanilla, coffee and spices followed by silky tannins, savoury notes and great elegance on the palate. Take a roasted leg of lamb out of the oven, pull up a chair and enjoy this gorgeous red over a lingering Sunday lunch.
• Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call (01243) 431002 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org