On July 26th, Ponzi Vineyards will host a very special Women of Pinot dinner celebrating women winemakers. Six women winemakers from Oregon, Alsace, New Zealand and California will come together for an incredible night of food and wine. It’s a rare event to have so much talent in one room! In addition to an expertly paired multi-course meal, guests will have the opportunity to taste more than a dozen wines and hear how they are made from the people who crafted them. Join us at one of Oregon’s founding wineries, set in the stunning Chehalem Mountains of the Willamette Valley.
One of the featured winemakers at the dinner is Katherine Jacobs of Big Sky Wines in New Zealand. Jacobs studied viticulture and winemaking in New Zealand and France, with experience working in Bordeaux. In 2005, Jacobs and her partner, Jeremy Corban, returned to New Zealand after living in France, knowing that it was the right time to pursue their dream of making world-class, hand-crafted wines that truly express the character of their vineyards. They were drawn to the Te Muna Valley near Martinborough. Set on the high alluvial terrace of the Huangarua River, it has deep gravels, low rainfall, warm days and cool nights, making it an ideal location for Pinot noir.
Her winemaking philosophy is simply to make the best wines possible, not the most wine possible. She stays hands-on and small so that each vintage can be personally managed. Her vineyards are certified sustainable and organic principles are followed whenever possible.
“Since terroir is at the heart of our wines, we look after the environment,” says Jacobs. “We live there. With our family. Why would we want to mess it up?”
Her flagship Pinot noir is hand-picked then crushed in two-ton open fermenters, hand-plunged and aged in new oak. The resulting wine has flavors of ripe berries, dark cherries and plums, with a savory mouth of warm spice and silky tannins.
Not content to only make lithe and elegant wines, Jacobs also sits on the board of the New Zealand Winegrowers Association and is an active part of the Association’s Women in Wine initiative, which offers support for women in the wine industry and encourages them to take roles of leadership and governance.
“This is such an interesting industry,” Jacobs says. “You can contribute in lots of different ways with different skill sets."
To meet Jacobs and sample her wine, please join us for our Women of Pinot dinner on July 26th. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet winemakers from around the world in a fun, intimate setting.
Meet all the featured winemakers in our Women of Pinot series: