In honor of Women's History Month, we spoke with some of the top women winemakers working in the industry today to learn more about them, their craft, and the wines they produce. Stay tuned throughout the month of March as we update this Women in Wine series with more interviews and be sure to check out our wine list featuring wineries who have women winemakers on staff.
With winemaking running through her veins, Véronique brings the experience of her family and her own passion for the craft to the Eola-Amity Hills AVA where Roserock
wines represent the culmination of a rich family history.
Wine.com: The past year has been challenging for everyone in many different ways. What, if anything, has the last year taught you about your profession or yourself as a winemaker?
Véronique Drouhin: The lessons are bigger than wine. Health, climate change, equity, adaptability – these are global concerns. Everything is connected. And, as a person, a family, or a company, you really depend on the community around you.
W: Your family brought its historic roots to Oregon before any other French winemakers. What were some of the initial challenges you faced?
VD: Everything was a challenge, because we wanted to give our full heart to the adventure. Travel and communication were much different in 1987, as was finding equipment, building our winery, learning what defines Oregon wine. And of course, we had to explain why we were doing something so radical. But we always knew the effort was worth making, independent of how successful it might become.
Véronique Drouhin in action
W: How have you developed your personal winemaking style given your family history?
VD: At this point, it is very hard to separate what style is my grandfather, or my father, or me. It’s my life in wine, and I learned from an early age to look for essential things like elegance, finesse, balance and typicity. True, I will make different winemaking choices along the way, but there is definitely a shared family approach to wine.
W: Is there any one particular characteristic that can be traced through all of your wines? Your personal fingerprint?
VD: If you compare the first wines I made to what I might make today, the thread (I hope) is that the wines have a delicate touch, a clear reflection of vintage and place, and the ability to age nicely.
W: How would you describe the magic of Roserock Pinot Noir
VD: Magic is hard to describe, isn’t it? But you know when a vineyard has its own personality, and whether it’s special. That’s Roserock, for sure.
Roserock vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills
W: What is one piece of advice you give to women looking to make a career in wine?
VD: Never doubt that you deserve your opportunity.
W: There are starting to be more opportunities to dine out, whether outdoors or socially distanced. How do you usually go about selecting a wine from a restaurant's wine list?
VD: I like to think about the restaurant’s intentions, and the regionality of the cuisine. I also like to try new things, and many times the sommelier might have a personal favorite selection that I would never think to order. So, a good wine idea can come from anywhere!
W: If you weren't a winemaker, what would you be doing?
VD: If I have had the skills I would have loved to be a pianist!
Thank you, Véronique!
Stay tuned throughout the month of March for more interviews
with women in wine and opportunities to shop wines from women winemakers. Cheers!