Online event open to all. To attend, please register here to receive your personal link. (Registration is possible at any time).
With Jenny Lefcourt, Winnie Lem, Pascaline Lepeltier, and Tilar J. Mazzeo.
Moderated by Samantha Presnal.
We are witnessing a period of female ferment in wine. As makers, retailers, stewards, and writers of wine, women are being recognized more and more as leaders and trailblazers in the industry. At the same time, women are using this opportunity to give voice to the sexual harassment and discrimination that continue to pervade what has long been a male-dominated world. How do we explain women’s underrepresentation in wine? How do we account for the recent success of this new generation of female wine professionals? And how do we go about promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in a business built on elitism, nepotism, and chauvinism? “By ‘Brut’ Force? Women’s Rise in Wine” will bring scholars and wine professionals together to discuss these questions and reflect on the growing visibility of women in various sectors - from growers to writers, somms to distributors - and different places- from the Finger Lakes to the Languedoc, from the Loire Valley to Vancouver. By thinking critically and historically about gender, labor, expertise, and relations of power, this panel will generate new insights on the present and future for women in wine.
Jenny Lefcourt is the co-founder and sole owner of Jenny & Francois Selections, one of the first import companies to focus on natural, organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines. Her portfolio is available across the US. A native New Yorker, she originally landed in Paris to study French film during her PhD at Harvard. After many visits to Paris wine bars and vineyards throughout France, all paths led to wine instead of academia.
Winnie Lem is an Anthropologist and Professor of International Development Studies at Trent University, Canada. She has conducted research on wine producers and politics in rural Languedoc. Currently her work focuses on transnational migration between China and France, focusing on the political economy of migrant livelihoods and citizenship. Her publications include books and articles that address questions of gender, work, and family enterprise under the conditions of agrarian change and urbanization.
Pascaline Lepeltier is a sommelier based in Manhattan, NY. Growing up in the Loire Valley, she moved to New York City in 2009 to open and run the Michelin-star Rouge Tomate beverage program, recognized as “Best Wine List in World” by The World of Fine Wine in 2017. In 2018 she joined as a partner Racines NY and is currently working on the opening of a new wine restaurant at the 94 Chambers Street location. In 2018 she became the first woman to win the Best French Sommelier competition and a MOF, “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” in sommellerie. She writes a monthly tribune for La Revue du Vin de France and is preparing her first solo book, to be published in 2022. She also makes natural wines from organic historical hybrids with her partner Nathan Kendall in the Finger Lakes, NY, under the label chëpìka.
Tilar J. Mazzeo is Professeure associée in the Département de littératures et langues du monde at the Université de Montréal. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Widow Cliquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (Harpers Collins 2008). She is also an international wine writer, with a special interest in French champagnes, natural/raw wines, and the wines of Napa and Sonoma. She holds a post-graduate Winemaking Certificate from the University of California at Davis, an Advanced Certificate with Merit from the WSET. She has guest lectured at prestigious wine events including Women of the Vine, the Symposium for International Wine Writers, and the San Francisco School of Wine.
Samantha Presnal is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of French Studies of NYU. Her research focuses on the cultural history of food and drink in France. Her book project examines the emergence of new kinds of culinary education – cooking demonstrations, competitions, magazines, and schools – and the ways in which they reshaped ideas and experiences of French womanhood in the fin-de-siècle. She is also interested in the relationship between gender, wine, and gastronomy in post-phylloxera France. At the IFS, she has taught the graduate seminar “Food for Feminist Thought: Gender and Food Cultures in France.”