Napa pruning competition opens to women

3rd March, 2014 by Lauren Eads

For the first time in its 12-year history women have been invited to take part in the Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ pruning competition.

5306a2c601bdd.preview-620Since its inception more than a decade ago women have been banned from taking part in the competition which ordinarily sees men slash at overgrown vines to prove their skill.

However this year, in what was the competition’s 13th year, women were invited to take part for the first time, according to a report by pennlive.com.

Jennifer Putnam, executive director of the group, told the paper: “There’s been this perennial conversation about, ‘Do we include women in the competition?’ And the answer’s always been, ‘Not yet. This year we looked around the room and just thought, ‘Yes, it’s time.’ ”

Not only was it the first time that women had been included in the competition, but the winner of the competition was also a woman, Celia Perez of V. Sattui Winery, who went home with first place.

The decision to open up the contest to women marks a change in what used to be the nearly exclusively man’s world of vineyard work representing the increasing number of women now working in vineyards.

“The cultural shift has now taken place where we felt like the women would be comfortable enough coming to the competition,” said Putnam.

Pruning is an important part of vine husbandry helping to determine the next harvest with different techniques used for different grapes and climates with skill in pruning as important as speed.

Those taking part in the competition, which kicked off on 20 February at Beringer Vineyard’s Gamble Ranch, are judged on technique and ranked by time with finalists then battling it out for first place.

Among the 56 competitors was Jesus Juarez who works at Moulds Family Vineyard.

He was placed first in the 2008 pruning contest and finished in fourth place this year.

Both Jesus and his brother, Roberto Juarez, said they were happy to have women take part in the competition.

He said: “It’s good for the women because they get that opportunity.”

Also competing was Maria Fuentes, who has worked for Beckstoffer Vineyards since 1977.

She said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s about time.”

Overall, women scored a little higher on technique and quality, while men had the edge on speed, Putnam said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Senior Customer Marketing Manager

Conviviality Group
London or Bristol, UK

Customer Marketing Manager- 12 month FTC

Conviviality Direct
London, UK

PR Account Executive

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, UK

Marketing Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Brand Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more