There are many pioneering women in the wine, spirits and beer industries, making waves and rewarding our palates with their creations. In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re celebrating with some of our favourite women in the wine, beer and spirits industry whose products we also carry in store at City Cellars.
Appleton Estate - Nassau Valley, Jamaica
Master Blender: Joy Spence
Appleton Estate, deep in the middle of Jamaica’s Nassau Valley, began perfecting complex rum-making over 265 years ago in 1749. Its history of passionate people nurturing the estate has resulted in a collection of rums renowned for distinctive Jamaican flavours and a strong commitment to quality.
This passion continued with Master Blender Joy Spence, who, a pioneer of her time, became the spirit industry’s first female Master Blender in 1997! She has over 35 years of experience at the Appleton Estate, starting as Chief Chemist in 1981, and every barrel of rum used in Appleton’s blends is personally picked by Joy and her team. In 2005, the Government of Jamaica awarded Joy the Order of Distinction for her service to industry. Let’s raise a glass to that!
City Cellars carries varying sizes of the Appleton 5 Year Rum, as well as the Reserve Rum.
Steamworks Brewing - Vancouver, BC
Brewmaster: Julia Hanlon
Steamworks is one of BC’s oldest and best recognized craft breweries. Founded in 1995, it was discovered that their Gastown, Vancouver brewpub building had a rare steam heating system - a remnant from century’s past forward thinkers. Deep within the building’s core they found a network of underground steam pipes – the same pipes that run through Gastown’s historic steam clock. Intrigued by the concept of direct steam powered brewing, they ventured forth to create Canada’s first one-of-a-kind steam fired brewery; the first in Canada. Now, their beer is sold in liquor stores across Canada and the United States, and even in Central Europe and Hong Kong!
In 2016, Julia Hanlon became the brewmaster, and through her brewing team, Steamworks continues to produce high quality and award winning craft beers – all with the power of steam. Coming from a chemical engineering background, Julia loves to cook (and eat), so many of Steamworks’ limited releases come from classic culinary flavour combinations. One of her first purchases for the brewery was a small pilot system to brew pilot batches once a week, keeping experimentation and innovation at top of mind whether the beer is released to the world or made just for fun.
City Cellars carries the Steamworks Tall Can Mashup, a mixed 8-pack of their award winning Flagship IPA and Pilsner, as well as the Heroica Red Ale and Pale Ale.
Carmen Winery - Elqui Valley, Chile
Winemaker: Emily Faulconer
Viña Carmen is Chile’s first and oldest winery, founded in 1850 by Christian Lanz and named in honour of his beloved wife. They’ve long been proponents of forward-thinking and innovation — were one of the first supporters of the resurgence of Carmenere grapes in Chile, being the first winery to create and sell Carmenere wine, and were the first winery in Chile to create an organic and sustainable line, Nativa. Carmen wines are sold in more than 50 countries, and their 150 years of viticultural and winemaking experience strengthens their commitment to high quality wines and unforgettable experiences.
At the age of 32, Emily Faulconer became the winemaker for Carmen’s premium range, focusing on producing wines showing specific varietal and terroir identity. She studied Agricultural Engineering at the Universidad Católica de Chile, and followed her passion for wine by spending a year and a half living in the Elqui Valley and leading the planning, operation and execution of the viticultural and oenological work of Viñedos Alcohuaz. Before coming to Carmen, she also worked in wineries in the United States, New Zealand and France.
Emily is responsible for the continuation and strengthening of Carmen’s internationally acclaimed, innovative projects, which have led it to position itself as one of Chile’s most innovative wineries with national and international acclaim.
City Cellars LOVES Carmen Wines — we currently carry their Cabernet Sauvignon, Gran Reserva Syrah, Reserve Merlot, the award-winning Gran Reserva Carignan, Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carmen DO Mezcla Tinto.
Raise a glass to women!
There are many more women winemakers, brewers and distillers to discover and celebrate for International Women’s Day — feel free to ask us for further recommendations to complete your Women’s Day beverage pairing!