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Girls Just Wanna Make Wine

Not too long ago, there were few Finger Lakes winemakers who were also female. Now, a growing number of women hold the title of head winemaker in our local wineries and their wines are winning awards and recognition all around the country.
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Written by Martha Gioumousis, photos by Chelsea Fausel

Not too long ago, there were few Finger Lakes winemakers who were also female. Now, a growing number of women hold the title of head winemaker in our local wineries and their wines are winning awards and recognition all around the country.

Several of these women have extensive training, education and experience, including seasons in wine regions around the world. Many hold advanced degrees in viticulture.

With growing acceptance of women in the field, and a plethora of students and interns coming out of the academic programs at Cornell, Tompkins County Community College and Finger Lakes Community College, women are now winemakers and assistant winemakers as well as filling many other roles at the wineries. We are proud to highlight some of their delicious offerings here.

The selection of wines made by women includes reds, whites and rosés to pair with the wide variety of foods suitable for any season. Enjoy these now and look forward to many more with each vintage from these rising stars.

Suggested Wines Made by Women in the Finger Lakes

Nancy Tisch, winemaker and co-owner
Bet the Farm
2017 Traminette
2017 Pinot Noir

Julia Hoyle, winemaker & Lindsay Bellis, assistant winemaker
Hosmer Winery
2017 Limited Release Riesling
2017 Cabernet Franc

Meagz Goodwin, assistant winemaker
Red Newt Cellars
2014 Big H Riesling

Staci Nugent, winemaker
Keuka Lake Vineyards
2018 Gewürztraminer
2017 20 Rows

Kim Marconi, winemaker, & Paige Vinson, assistant winemaker
Three Brothers Wineries
2018 2nd Degree Riesling—semi-dry
2018 Reserve Barbera

Alexandra Bond, winemaker & partner
Hector Wine Company
2018 Sauvignon Blanc
Soul Red

Liz Leidenfrost, winemaker
Leidenfrost Vineyards
2017 Pinot Noir
Tattooed Lady

Nova Cadamatre, winemaker & owner
Trestle Thirty-One
2017 Chardonnay
2016 Riesling

Sue Passmore, winemaker
Buttonwood Grove
2018 Rosé
2018 Fumé Blanc—Sauvignon Blanc

Nancy Irelan, winemaker & co-owner
Red Tail Ridge
2017 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
2017 Blaufränkisch

Ann Raffetto, winemaker
Wagner
2015 Pinot Noir Grace House
2018 Fathom 107—Riesling/Gewürztraminer blend

Lindsay Stevens, winemaker
Treleaven Wines
2018 Dry Riesling
2017 Reserve Chardonnay

Martha Gioumousis was one of the first female winemakers in the Finger Lakes, making wine at Hosmer Winery, where her 2001 Dry Riesling won the Governor’s Cup. She is currently editor of the Finger Lakes Wine Gazette.

Chelsea Fausel is a lifestyle and wedding photographer in the Finger Lakes with a studio in downtown Ithaca. Follow her work on Instagram @fauselimagery.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 Women’s Issue edition of the magazine.

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