Women in Wine: Michelle Winter

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

With March being Women's History Month, and March 8th International Women's Day, we are featuring some of our women winemakers & women-run wineries. We hope you'll join us in celebrating the successes and empowerment of women in the wine world and beyond, and raise a glass to women everywhere with a wine that suits the occasion!

Michelle Winter, Head of Winemaking at Girasole Vineyards

Hired in April 2018 to oversee all winemaking duties for the Barra family (Redwood Valley Cellars,BARRA of Mendocino and Girasole Vineyards wine brands), Michelle has an impressive background. “From her large-scale production work at Don Sebastiani & Sons, to her brand focused responsibilities at Sonoma-Cutrer, Michelle brings the ideal blend of talents to our multi-faceted operation," says Shawn Harmon, VP of Operations for the Barra Family.

Beginning as a Lab Director at some of Napa’s most prestigious brands including Stag’s Leap Cellars and Rutherford Hill Winery, Ms. Winter has spent the last 20 years leveraging her extensive technical experience to build quality winemaking pro-grams for wineries both big and small. A self-proclaimed “cellar rat”, she finds great pleasure in working alongside her lab and cel-lar teams to provide that extra level of hands on commitment.

“I’m thrilled to join the team at BARRA of Mendocino and Redwood Valley Cellars. The Barra family’s longstanding com-mitment to quality, community, and stewardship of the land is a true inspiration. Being able to craft consumer-friendly wines for our brands, as well as provide quality services at a larger scale custom-crush facility, is a truly satisfying combination in terms of the ‘the ideal’ winemaker position. I’m eager to dig in and earn my place in this already fantastic winemaking team”, says Winter.

Featured wine: Girasole Zinfandel - Mendocino AVA - 2017

The 2017 Girasole Zinfandel bursts from the glass with aromas of fresh bing cherry, blackberry, and boysenberry, followed by the palate-pleasing flavors of ripe purple and red fruits. The texture is plush and silky, with tannins that lend just enough structure to support the warm, fruity-vanilla and spicy white peppercorn base. This is a middle weight champion and a classic Mendocino Zinfandel! Made with certified organic grapes. Vegan.

Read more from our Women in Wine series here.

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