First female-only wine list launched

A wine list composed entirely of wines made by women has been launched at a London restaurant.

Tamra Washington

Dim sum restaurant Courtesan in Brixton is championing the female winemaker list, compiled with the help of UK wine suppliers Enotria and Matthew Clark.

The project was devised to highlight the increasingly important role women are playing in the wine world at every level, from winemaker to estate owner.

In addition to wines made by women, a few of the wines on the list hail from estates owned or directed by women, such as Duval-Leroy in Champagne.

Among the wines on the list are Yealands Viognier 2012 made by Tamra Washington, Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon made by Genevieve Janssens and Concha y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc made by Cecilia Torres.

The wines were specifically selected to match with the restaurant’s dim sum offering.

12 Responses to “First female-only wine list launched”

  1. There is (was?) a restaurant in Bordeaux that only had wines from woman winemakers too. La Robe. They changed ownership last year and I’m not sure they’ve kept the concept though.

  2. Two points:
    1. This is not the first all-female wine list for a UK restaurant. I designed one for a Vietnamese restaurant in Shoreditch 3 years ago. The proprietor was puzzled by the gender bias. I was forced to drop the idea. It was a great list of wines though.
    2. Few wines go with dim sum.

  3. Gianina Arturo says:

    There’s also a restaurant in New York City’s West Village that has had this concept for years!

    • Susan Curtis says:

      Hi Gianina,
      Would love to find the name of that West Village restaurant! Winemaker at Amador County winery Wine Tree Farm is female, hailing from South Africa, making Rhone wines.

  4. maxx says:

    Stupid idea! Just drink good wine, who cares about the gender of the wine maker? How would an all male wine list go over? Lot’s of protester’s out front.

  5. Caryl says:

    A female wine list underlines the fact that women actually DO make wines and ARE responsible for running vineyards. And this is important (a) for the winemakers themselves in an industry which is still so male-dominated, also because it encourages other women to venture in to our (viticultural) side of the business, and (b) for the consumers, particularly the female ones who are rarely given the wine list in a restaurant (but always a menu), and are often even reluctant to leave the safe anonymity of a supermarket shelf for what is perceived to be the male territory of a wine merchant’s shop. I am a member of an truly inspirational group of female Languedoc winemakers called the Vinifilles, and although I am not a winemaker myself (just the co-manager of a small vineyard), I can tell you none of us would particularly endorse an all-female wine list because we think women make better wine, but we do say a big Bravo! to any initiative that makes both the making and the drinking of wine more approachable to women in general – and this surely must do that.

  6. Christopher Payne says:

    I would not want to say it was a stupid idea (that’s a little harsh), but perhaps misguided. The test of whether something is sexist (which is at the core of this debate) is to reverse it, as someone has stated, a purposefully all male wine list would be frowned upon, as this should be. I feel women should be treated with equality and the best way to do that is to act with equality. As a soon as you point out a difference and make it an issue, you separate people, whether by gender, colour, religion, culture, race, disability and so on – instead of bringing them together as equals.

  7. Penn Norton says:

    Todd Ziemann, is Director of Winemaking at Robert Mondavi Woodbridge. Someone did not even research the selections!


  8. Anita Lo, the award winning chef who own Annisa in NYC also has a wine list featuring only women winemakers.

  9. On the one hand I “get it,” but in general I don’t agree there should be a women’s only list any more than there should be a men’s only list. Why not a “wine families only” list, giving credit to those hardworking families like Paolo Scavino, Ca’ del Baio, Elio Altare, GD Vajra and so on where daughters are working beside their fathers and brothers? If the list is purely women winemakers, women like Ornella Correggia whose son Giovanni is one of the winemakers at Matteo Correggia would not be mentioned. Her courage and strength, despite lack of knowledge about the industry, helped her save the winery for her young children after the tragic death of her husband.

  10. Alex Hunt says:

    Last time I looked, Cecilia Torres worked for Santa Rita, not CyT. Or are there two Cecilia Torreses?

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