There are some new faces emerging on the Connecticut winemaking scene. These are the faces of young, enthusiastic, and innovative females who are part of the next generation of Connecticut winemaking culture.
The Women Winemakers of Connecticut was created by Christina Musto (Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC.) and Amanda Brackett (Southern Connecticut Wine Company) over a flight of beer at the tail end of harvest in 2014. Let’s face it; by the end of harvest, we are all ready for a beer! They were both delirious from the stress of the season and the issues they were facing within the wine industry as women. They ended up hashing out a crazy idea to bring together the professional female winemakers in the state with the hopes of socializing, collaborating, and learning from like-minded ladies.
The founding members consisted of Christina Musto, Amanda Brackett, Maureen MacDonald, and Kristen Parsons – all four professional winemakers in the state at the time. They quickly realized they could do more than just collaborate, but could help other women achieve their wine-
making and wine industry goals within the state.
The concept grew to include members from all facets of the Connecticut wine industry. This has created a positive and creative networking space for members to grow as professionals and achieve their goals. The mission of the Women Winemakers of Connecticut is to unify and enrich Connecticut and New England’s women winemakers and wine industry professionals through collaboration and education. Meetings sometimes focus around exploring different winemaking techniques, identifying and correcting faults, making sparkling wines, or navigating the issues that come up throughout the year (just to throw a few topics out there). But they have also grown to include marketing and creative advertising discussions, tasting room protocols, and general winery business. The group has something to offer, not only to the winemakers, but all of the females that are contributing to the face of the Connecticut wine industry.
Two years later the group has expanded to 17 members and is consistently expanding. The group has even extended its reach to include a winemaker from Massachusetts. There are now winemakers, tasting room staff, administrative personnel, and event planners who belong to the group. These ladies all offer different perspectives of the industry and through their collaboration the Connecticut wine culture is in for some intense and innovative happenings.
Today, the Women Winemakers of Connecticut are hoping to achieve two goals. The first goal is to expand the reach to include more members in the local area. This will only heighten the possibilities of collaboration and education of everyone involved. The second goal of the group is to create a wine label to sell to the public in which the proceeds benefit a scholarship fund set up for a female winemaking student from the East Coast. This wine label will showcase the creativity, strength, and positive vibes of bringing so many female winemaking minds together.
Follow the group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/womenwinemakersofct and support your local winemaking ladies and their businesses.