Classic Artisan Wines

Classic Artisan Wines is a fine wine broker for the wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Napa Valley, Central Coast, Paso Robles and Russian River.


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Celebrating the women of wine: Friday event spotlights female winemakers

By Bonnie Horgos
Posted: 06/27/2012 01:30:54 AM PDT

SANTA CRUZ -- Darlene de la Cerna wants people to pay attention to female winemakers.

"I'm trying to support women in the industry, and we need all the help we can get," said de la Cerna, who started Classic Artisan Wines, a wine-brokering business, in 1993.

De la Cerna will highlight female winemakers at her upcoming Women D'Vine event Friday at the Westside New Leaf Community Market. She will pour wines made by Jenny Pandol of Pandol and Katy Lovell of Poetic Cellars.

Women constitute 15 to 20 percent of all California winemakers, according to a study done by Dr. Lucia Albino Gilbert for Santa Clara University's department of psychology.

De la Cerna said she wants to bring awareness to this disparity by showcasing female winemakers she deals with in her brokering business.

"It's tough in the wine world; alcohol is still a man's world," de la Cerna said. "To have a woman winemaker is really special. What I hear from people when they taste these wines is they're really delicate. It really comes through in the wine."

Pandol said that while she may not perceive women specifically as making delicate wines, she has definitely been drawn to make pinot noir, known for its light to medium body.

"When I started really getting into wine tasting, pinot noir was my favorite varietal," Pandol said. "It's a really delicate grape, and it has a feminine essence that draws me to it."

Pandol said she also enjoys working with pinot noir because of the grape's slightly finicky nature. She currently sources her grapes from Richard Alfaro of Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery and John Bargetto of Bargetto Winery.

"Pinot noir is a grape that you can't find just anywhere," Pandol said. "You need specific growing conditions, so to be able to make a varietal where you live is pretty special."

Lovell started Poetic Cellars off of Rodeo Gulch Road in Soquel with her partner Joseph Naegele. Lovell does the hands-on work of the winery such as picking the grapes, running the de-stemmer, bottling, printing labels and forklifting the barrels. Naegele writes the poetry featured on the wine bottles, hence the name Poetic Cellars.

De la Cerna will pour a number of Poetic Cellar wines including a syrah, cabernet blend and a mourvedre. She'll also feature a late harvest viognier and a port, both of which will only be available for tasting that night.

"I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by these wines," de la Cerna said. "There has been an amazing response on both of these wines. People can expect to taste amazing wines produced by these women."

Women D'Vine
What: An event featuring the wines of female winemakers Jenny Pandol and Kate Lovell.
When: Friday, 4-6 p.m.
Where: New Leaf Community Market, 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz

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