Spoiler alert: the following post is about wine, two women and a Mexican immigrant.
For those of you who suffer grave agita at all or some of these topics, or a combination therein, be advised. (On a recent post, one comment suggested wine is a product we can do without. I am one of the millions who disagree!)
The world of wine is scant on women in executive roles. In producing wine documentary films, it is incumbent upon my daughter, who orchestrates these tasks for our business, to find equal representation — or her mother will read her The Feminine Mystique chapter and verse — until the cows come home. For our current production she succeeds, par excellence.
Novato distinguishes itself in many ways, none the least being the gateway from Marin County to Wine Country. We are adjacent to the American Viticultural Area, or AVA (wine lingo for a particular region) known as Carneros, which interestingly sits in the southern part of both Sonoma and Napa counties.
Ameila Ceja is the president of Ceja Vineyards located in this prime locale. Kathryn Hall’s acreage sits in the equally prestigious Napa Valley, known as Hall Winery.
Their worlds’ reflect some differences but in essence, abundant similarities, the kind that unite women everywhere, that common thread being communication, dedication and relentless multitasking, It is also reflected in their passion for wine.
Amelia’s vineyards are situated on the valley floor while Kathryn’s are on the slopes. Amelia is a brunette; Kathryn is a blond. Amelia came here from Mexico, Kathryn from Mendocino. Amelia’s eyes are dark and Kathryn’s are light, but both sparkle with that kind of inner happiness earned by effort.
Both have picked grapes. Amelia was brought here as a Mexican immigrant to do just that; Kathryn worked at her family vineyards in the Redwood valley.
Both work with their husbands but have also achieved amazing things on their own. Nothing was handed to either of them. Kathryn became a lawyer, an activist for women, a corporate leader and the United States Ambassador to Austria. Amelia went from migrant worker to college graduate and renown chef and vintner. In this capacity she, like Kathryn, is an ambassador of all things good and gracious about food and family, friends and cultures, blending in harmony.
Both love and collect art, and likewise see the creation of a fine wine as an artistic endeavor to be appreciated and enjoyed.
Both understand the glass ceiling well but chose to shatter it long ago. This accomplishment is what interests me most about them. I have the utmost respect for women who don’t buy into the negative, sometimes reverse stereotyping rhetoric.
They just keep achieving things, making it look both effortless and fun.
That’s the crux of it: they are enjoying their lives. They have found balance between the tannins and acids and the fruit and the flavors. They have as many up and downs as any other woman, but they choose a different route when the noise gets too loud.
They quiet down to their core and look to nature, the mother of us all, because it is all around them.
Both know how blessed they are for their lives and their land.
You can learn more about these women, their philosophies and their wines at http://www.apassionforthevine.com.