Spain’s top women winemakers

Daphne Glorian


One of the original pioneers of modern Priorat, along with René Barbier, Alvaro Palacios and José Luiz Perez, Swiss-born

Daphne Glorian is at the helm of one of Priorat’s smallest and most prestigious estates, Clos Erasmus in Gratallops. She considers the 1998 vintage her best so far. “It was the first time I felt I was finally touching something that had remained elusive until then.

“It was like walking around a bend in the road and getting a glimpse of the landmark I had been looking for,” she says. Glorian recently shifted her focus at the estate back to Garnacha for her top wine, with the ultimate goal to get as close to 100% Garnacha as possible.

Who made you want to become a winemaker? I was lucky to start working in the mid ’80s for Kit Stevens, one of the first MWs. I didn’t know anything about wine but as he was involved with the best in the world I got hooked up very quickly.

Four years later I met René Barbier at a wine fair, we became friends and he talked me into joining the small group of people he had put together to start a new project in Priorat. I had never thought consciously of becoming a winemaker, but there was the opportunity and I jumped at it.

How would you describe your winemaking style? As little intervention as possible, within reason. Our soil and the conditions in general in the Priorat are so unique that I try to respect them and stay true to the character of the wines.

Who are your winemaking inspirations? Lalou Bize Leroy, Henry Jayer and Jaques Raynault.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far? To get the industry to recognise Spanish wines and especially Priorat. The early ’90s were a very hard time, having to fight every inch of the way to even get the wines into a tasting.

Has it been tough getting to the top of a male dominated industry? Strange as it may sound I never felt resistance or hostility. The reality is that in Spain there were a number of women winemakers, already established, in some cases for generations.

What is the most exciting aspect of the Spanish wine industry at the moment? The emergence of a new crop of young winemakers who often look more like explorers than farmers. They work with varieties which are little known to the public and plant vineyards in long forgotten regions.

Desert island wine: La Tâche 1990, preferably in magnum.

8 Responses to “Spain’s top women winemakers”

  1. Jose Ruisanchez says:

    thanks and you should have mentioned Doña Maria of Montebello/Osborne, a true pathbreaker for the others

  2. Ana says:

    I am very happy when I see a woman leading wine projects with such a success. Congratulations!!

  3. Jacob says:

    Daphne Gloria is not spaniard, should not have been included. She is a US citizen born in Switzerland, making 1 wine in Spain, and selling spanish wines in the United States of America.

  4. Women should not be downgraded from mere housewife alone. Even a housewife is a hard job, it’s a 24/7 workout. Now with regards to winemaking, it doesn’t state in any book or any law that a woman cannot be a winemaker. If a woman is equipped with the knowledge of doing so then so be it. Whether winemaker, engineer, carpenter, driver or any hard our jobs, we should acknowledge equality whatever genre we are in.

  5. Woman should come in front of the society without minding all restrictions from the family and the society. This article really an inspiration for woman who want to break the wall of restrictions. waiting for more posts like this.

  6. Feeling very proud to hear this.A women can do any thing.Very glad to hear that a women can lead something and made a success.It will be very inspiring for the whole other women community.

  7. showbox apk says:

    Really such a amazing post dear.

  8. chrisgail says:

    I want to say those women congratulation on their success.

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