Postcards from Italy

Women in Wine

A large number of Italy’s most innovative wineries are run by women. We have been so struck by the excellent wines they are producing that we began collecting their labels for our home cellar a few years ago.

Succede alle cantine Caprai...

(Photo by Michela Simoncini via Flickr)

Though there has been an association for women winemakers in Italy since 1988, and we have been searching out these interesting vintners for years, the recent increase of women in the Italian wine industry has begun to catch the attention of the international press.

Many of these female entrepeneurs have taken over family wineries, pairing tradition with progress, but others have founded new estates and built up their reputation from scratch. We often include these women-run wineries on our Italian travel itineraries that focus on food and wine. From organic to biodynamic, from Trentino to Sicily, from Prosecco to Chianti Classico, there is a wine to suit all tastes and budgets from Italy’s donne del vino.

Here are a few of our favorites:


(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Bortolmiol – Bandarossa Prosecco This winery dates back to 1760, and is currently run by Maria Elena, Elvira, Luisa, and Giuliana, the four daughters of Giuliano Bortolomiol. Giuliano took over the family estate immediately after World War II and dedicated his life to replanting his family’s abandoned vineyards and elevating Prosecco from a relatively obscure local specialty to a prestigious DOCG wine known across the globe. His daughters are continuing to produce top vintages at their lovely estate in the Veneto.


(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Occhipinti – SP68 Rosso or Bianco Arianna Occhipinti has been making wines on 30 acres of vineyards planted in her native Sicilian countryside for just over a decade, but has already garnered a number of prizes and praise from the press. Her wines are organic, made from native and heirloom grape varieties, and playfully named for the provincial highway that meanders past her land.

Women Team

Tenuta di Capezzana – Carmignano This beautiful family estate 30 minutes outside of Florence is known for its rare Carmignano wine and the family is renowned for the vast art collection, assembled by generations of the Contini Bonacossi family. We often arrange private cooking classes for our clients here, led by the family chef, followed by a meal with the countess Lisa Contini Bonacossi, founder of the cooking school, and Beatrice Contini Bonacossi, who now manages the winery.

Le Casalte – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Chiara Barioffi runs this small estate in one of Italy’s most famous wine-producing areas. Though production is limited, Le Casalte’s wines have been awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator and bottles can be found at around $30 in the US. Another reason we love it – our cats were born on the estate.


Podere la Cappella – Corbezzolo This small vineyard is run by Natascia Rossini, daughter of the founder, Bruno, is a favorite among our travelers. Visitors love the picturesque location in the heart of Tuscany and the air of discovery conveyed in meeting these winemakers on their intimate hidden property. Corbezzolo is an intense Sangiovese, and pairs best with hearty, winter dishes.


Travel Specialists

Maria Landers

Brian Dore