Women Winemakers We Love: Véronique Drouhin

In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8th) and as a general nod to our own unique roots, background and inspiration, we’re featuring a number of our favorite female winemakers over the next month. These are women from around the world whose character and wines we find beautiful, whose company (whether in person or through the glass) we’d happily enjoy any day.

 

In conjunction with these features, our March 2013 Wine Club shipment will include all female winemakers. 

 

Name: Véronique Drouhin

Title: Winemaker

Label(s): Domaine Drouhin Oregon (Willamette Valley, Oregon) and Maison Joseph Drouhin (Burgundy, France)

 

Veronique-Drouhin-(1)

Véronique Drouhin in the Clos des Mouches vineyard in Beaune, Burgundy.

Véronique Drouhin knows Burgundy. After all, she grew up smack in the middle of it, drinking legendary wines as a tween and roller-skating through her family’s storied underground cellars in Beaune. Her personality seems imbued with the region’s simple beauty — a front for its almost magical wines. If you’ve ever wondered if winemakers’ personalities seep into their wines, Véronique’s would be evidence of such a phenomenon. Strikingly similar to her own character, Drouhin wines are beautiful with an understated confidence. They are clear, thoughtful and eloquent — as is she.

 

How long have you been making wine?

Doesn’t seem that long, but 25 years…

 

Describe your winemaking philosophy in five words or less.

Pleasure, elegance, longevity

 

How did you come up with or name your wine labels?

In Oregon, the wines have the name of my children. In 1992, working hard making wine, I was pregnant with my first child. Laurène showed up much earlier than she was supposed to… so we named the first estate wine of Domaine Drouhin Oregon after her. Then Arthur and Louise came, so there were a Chardonnay Arthur and a Pinot Noir Louise.

 

Have you faced any unique challenges or opportunities as a woman winemaker?

Raising three children in Burgundy and making wine in both Burgundy and Oregon… not the easiest!

 

What’s your favorite quote?

From Casablanca: “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” It applies so well to Pinot Noir.

 

What was the first wine you had that made you realize wine was a passion that you would make into a career? 

Chambertin-Clos de Bèze 1962. I was 10 years old.

 

Best place you have traveled as a result of wine?

So many! One great memory is going to the Maldives and doing a winemaker dinner barefoot in the sand.

 

Do you accept visitors at the winery? If so, what is the best way for a consumer to arrange a visit? 

Yes, both at Domaine Drouhin Oregon (amazing view there), and in Burgundy at Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune (walking thru the 14th century cellars is quite an experience). It is easy to find all info for visits on our websites.

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