Pretty excited to have these women (virtually) in my home – Dr. Laura Catena, Bodegas Catena Zapata & Bodegas CARO (Mendoza, Argentina); Anne Trimbach, Trimbach (Alsace, France); Laure Colombo, Vins Jean-Luc Colombo (Cornas, Rhone Valley, France); and Alessia Collauto Travaglini, Travaglini (Gattinara, Piemonte, Italy)!
Do you recognize some of those last names? You should as they are also names of their family wineries. I had met Alessia and her mother, Cinzia Travaglini, a year ago when they held a wine tasting luncheon at Angelini Osteria. (Read about that here.) The other esteemed ladies, well-educated winery owners and winemakers, I had not met before.
What We Learned
Dr. Catena explained that the wine industry employs about 40% female workers, and when she started zero were employed in actual viticulture, most worked on the business side. Even those, working in the office, had male bosses. In her time she has fought for equal pay for equal work. From her bio I learned more about this remarkable woman: Dr. Laura Catena is a fourth-generation Argentine vintner, physician and author. Catena was born in Mendoza and spent her childhood with her grandfather Domingo at the family’s winery in the small village of La Libertad. Laura graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1988 and has a Medical Doctor degree from Stanford University.
For Travaglini it’s a different story, her family-run winery is all female except for her grandfather. From her bio: Today, she can be found tending the vines at Travaglini or working in the cellar alongside her family. She also takes an active role in the administration, marketing, sales and promotion of Travaglini wines…Alessia holds a degree in Economics and Business Management from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Although Italian is her native tongue, Alessia also speaks English, Spanish and French.
Colombo shared that her winery has a “sense of place” as her neighbors have cows, make cheese, etc., all contributing to what is typical in her area. A little from her bio we learn: …she interned at Château Haut-Brion while working toward her bachelor’s degree in Viticulture and Oenology in Bordeaux. She then received her master’s degree in Oenology from the University of Montpellier, where she participated in experiments with vinifications in the southern hemisphere. In 2010, Laure was ready to join the family estate where she has been working alongside her parents ever since. In 2014, she created her own Domaine in the Appellation of Saint Péray, Le Domaine de Lorient, with partner Dimitri.
Trimbach said that fifty percent of their productions is Riesling, and her family has been making wine for nearly 50 years, from their own estate grapes and from negotiants. Dr. Catena said that Trimbach is an expert at social media, and had built the Trimbach website. From Trimbach’s bio: She studied economics at Prepa HEC in Strasbourg before spending three years in Dijon, Burgundy to complete her master’s degree. Post-studies, she spent six months in Copenhagen improving her English skills before returning to France for an internship with a beverage distributor. In 2008, Anne moved back to Alsace and began to formally work as a winemaker and Trimbach ambassador.
Wines (my notes are in italics)
Jean Luc Colombo 2018 Saint Peray, “La Belle De Mai”
60% Roussanne, 40% Marsanne White Rhone blend
Laure Colombo, winemaker
This was a beautiful wine. Colombo said it was from a single vineyard, old vines, and that the grapes were harvested and vinified together. Beautiful nose showing fruit, minerality and simply, a bouquet of fresh flowers. It was mouthwatering, with low acidity, that same fresh fruit and balance.
2017 Caro Domaines Barons De Rothschild Lafite and Nicolas Catena
74% Malbec and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon
Dr Catena said that Malbec softens Cab, and that she had researched this idea and learned that this is “a historical blending.” Had this wine a few weeks earlier in a Zoom with Caro, and this is an excerpt of my notes: This is a limited production wine, comes from “specific sub divisions of terroir”, and since they don’t make it every year it’s scarce. I found a beautiful nose filled with lots of dark fruit, spice, tobacco and dark chocolate. Drawn in for a taste I got a rich spicy mouthfeel and that same luscious dark fruit.
2016 Travaglini Gattinara DOCG
Massimo Collauto, winemaker
93 points, Wine Advocate
Just as I had recalled from tasting a year ago, this wine does not disappoint. Filled with earth, plum, dried red currant, pipe smoke and chocolate covered cherries all on the nose. The taste, ah, is balanced dry dark fruit – blueberry and blackberry – including stems and brambles.
2017 Trimbach Riesling Reserve
91 points by Wine Spectator and James Suckling.
A dry – not sweet – Riesling, with crisp apple, citrus and minerality reminiscent of standing by a cool lake – all on the nose. The taste was all beautifully ripe fruit. I paired this later in the evening with a rich vanilla ice cream with ribbons of lemon puree.
Social Media Contacts
Taub Family Selections
Instagram: @taubfamilyselections Facebook: @TaubFamilySelections Twitter: @TFSelections
Instagram: @trimbach, @annetrimbachalsace Facebook: @maisontrimbach Twitter: @trimbach
Instagram: @vinscolombo, @laurecolombo Facebook: @vinsjeanluccolombo Twitter: @vinscolombo
Instagram: @travaglinigattinara, @alessia.c.travaglini Facebook: @www.travaglinigattinara.it
Instagram: @bodegascaro, @lauracatenamd Facebook: @bodegasCARO
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.