Donatella Cinelli Colombini
In 1998 Donatella Cinelli Colombini left her family’s estate to start her own, made up of Casato in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda. Along with the vineyards and with the farmhouses to be renovated, Donatella received a quantity of Brunello di Montalcino, and so she needed a cellar master to see to its barrel-ageing. She called the Enology School in Siena, asking for a good student to hire. They answered that they had none; cellar masters had to be booked years in advance. They mentioned, however, that they had many female cellar masters available, since no important winery wanted to employ them.
This episode gave birth to the Prime Donne Project.
Alessia Antinori and her sisters Albiera and Allegra
Lionnes Magazine says:
"When most family businesses talk about a long tradition, they might measure that tradition in years, or maybe decades. The Antinori sisters measure their family’s business history in centuries! Italian wine company Marchesi Antinori began in 1385 – over 600 years ago. The business built both a global market and an impressive lineage. Antinori remained a family-owned business, always passed down to a male descendant. Alessia Antinori, along with her sisters Albiera and Allegra, are the first women to lead the company. Albiera serves as president, while Alessia and Allegra are vice presidents."
Dominga, Marta and Enrica Cotarella
"Wine seems to be the sap that feeds the lush tree of the Cotarellas, who, since the sixties, generation after generation, have been cultivating with passion the bond between land and heart. A story whose roots reach back into time, but whose branches are always ready to generate new ideas and to bloom into new projects."
In 2016 Dominga, Marta and Enrica - Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella’s daughters - took over the company leadership and rebranded the company as the Cotarella Family.
Gaja is an Italian wine producer from the Piemonte region in the district of Langhe, chiefly producing a number of Barbaresco and Barolo wines, and later diversified into Brunello and "Super-Tuscan" production.
Since 2004, the primary figurehead and executive of the Gaja vineyard is Gaia Gaja, the eldest daughter of Angelo Gaja. Under her supervision, reclassification of such wines as Sorì Tilden, Sori San Lorenzo and Costa Russi, and Sperrs; these wines are currently produced as DOCG Barbaresco and Barolo respectively.
Foradori wines: Teroldego Morei, Teroldego Sgarzon, Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco, Fontanasanta Nosiola
Sisters Chiara and Teresa Lungarotti
"To say Lungarotti is to say Torgiano, the territory that made Umbria famous for wine.
Founded by Giorgio Lungarotti, a pioneer of modern Italian enology, the company is run by daughters Chiara and Teresa, supported by their mother Maria Grazia and grandchildren Francesco and Gemma."
Sisters Arianna, Meri, Valentina (winemaker) and Alessandra Tessari
Empson says "Winemaking is a family affair for Giovanni and Rosetta Tessari and their four daughters, Arianna, Meri, Valentina (winemaker) and Alessandra. The lovely Tessari siblings speak of their vineyards in the same way they speak of grandfather Giuseppe and Nonna Serafina, who taught them to care for every vine, every plot and every grape on the property since they were children. Nonno Giuseppe built the Tessari home in 1887, high on the Fittà hills that overlook the Classico heartland, facing the hills of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone. A century later, in 1982, his son Giovanni and wife Rosetta chose to estate-bottle Tessari wine. They built a state-of-the-art winery and labeled the range Suavia “as a tribute to the tradition and culture of their terroir.”
The Le Lase Sisters
"The Winery Le Lase is the story of 4 sisters and their family who, in the year 2003, wandered by the wild and ancient beauty of the Etruscan countryside that extends between Lazio and Umbria, decide to plant vineyards on these clay grounds. rich in minerals and crossed by the river Tiber.
An ideal location for selected grapes to obtain valuable wines, very rich in strength, character and history.
The name of the winery comes from the wonderful figures of Etruscan mythology: a large family of winged female spirits, semidivine creatures, who embody the meaning of genius and power."
Vinitaly focus on women
In 2022, Vinitaly launched an "iconic women in wine panel", led by Marilisa Allegrini, and six other women.
The Allegrini family of the Allegrini Estates has played a leading role in the history of Fumane and Valpolicella Classica since the sixteenth century and has handed down the culture of the vine and wine ever since. The corporate legacy of Giovanni Allegrini, the driving force behind the rebirth of the Valpolicella area, passed into the hands of the new generations: his son and daughter, Franco and Marilisa, together with his niece Silvia, the daughter of his late son, Walter.
Wine Spectator says Marilisa Allegrini is one of the seven iconic wine women of Italy.
A new Vinitaly panel this year is "iconic women in Italian sparkling." Allison Mathews, a Wine Spectator editor, will run the panel.
Italian wine organization by and for women with a unique group in each region. These women are educators, journalists, sommeliers, producers, enologists.
If you would like to experience Italian wines and wineries owned and run by women you can reach out to this organization.