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Winebow Imports Hosts Ninth Annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium

Held virtually for the first time, the dynamic event addresses topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to sustainability
by Press Release - Winebow Imports
October 29, 2020

Richmond, VA – October 28, 2020 – Winebow Imports hosted its ninth annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium (WWLS) on October 20, 2020. The event, which previously took place in New York City each year, was held virtually for the first time, reaching a much broader audience while continuing its founding mission to build a more diverse, inclusive, and successful industry for everyone. A full recording of the symposium, produced together with Teuwen Communications, is now available for viewing here.

“Since we launched the symposium in 2012, we have been bringing together women from all sectors of the industry to raise awareness and question the status quo,” said Marilyn Krieger, Vice President of Public Relations, Winebow Imports. “Although we missed seeing attendees in person this year, it is exciting to open the program to everyone—hopefully inspiring many more colleagues and friends to continue these conversations and work together toward positive change.”

This year’s event kicked off with a Keynote Conversation featuring two prominent women in the industry – Victoria James, Director of Beverage and Partner at Cote (NYC and Miami) and co-founder of Wine Empowered, and Tonya Pitts, a sommelier, wine & food consultant, speaker, and writer based in San Francisco.

Dorothy J. Gaiter, Senior Editor of The Grape Collective, former wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and co-creator of the annual, global celebration of wine and friendship, “Open that Bottle Night,” moderated the lively hour-long discussion between the two.

“The way Tonya and Victoria delved into and then tied together issues of racism, sexism and ageism in the wine and hospitality industries with such passion and forward-looking solutions gave me so much hope for the future,” said Gaiter.  

The symposium’s second session, “From Vineyard to the Community: Building a More Sustainable Wine Industry,” featured a panel of four women from wineries around the world: Heather Fraser, Winemaker and Laboratory Manager for Yalumba and Hill-Smith Family Vineyards in Australia; Belén Iácono, Chief Agronomist for the Adrianna Vineyard at Catena Zapata in Argentina; Andrea León, Winemaker and Technical Director for Lapostolle in Chile; and Giulia Migliorati, Export Manager for Valle Reale in Italy.

The panel was led by Sandra Taylor, President and CEO of Sustainable Business International, and author of the book, The Business of Sustainable Wine, published in 2017.

“It was inspiring to hear not just about the environmental initiatives these wineries are taking, but also about the social programs they support for the betterment of their communities and employees,” said Taylor. “Our conversation was a springboard for how we can improve our communication to consumers about these important efforts.” 

During the event, Champagne Laurent-Perrier U.S. President Michelle DeFeo announced the recipients of the second annual Laurent-Perrier Women in Wine Leadership Scholarship that is awarded by SommFoundation. This scholarship, which is in association with Winebow, includes a financial award and a personal mentorship with DeFeo. It is presented to three outstanding women pursuing education through the Court of Master Sommeliers; Andrea Morris, Cheron Cowan, and Kerry Callender were chosen for this honor in 2020.

For more information on the event, including speaker bios, videos from past events, and more, please visit the Women in Wine Leadership Symposium website.

About Winebow Imports

Winebow Imports has been an industry leader for 40 years, representing some of the most esteemed properties from both prominent and emerging growing areas around the world. A national importer known for cultivating lasting relationships with extraordinary wine families who are dedicated to their unique regions, Winebow Imports continues to balance its impressive growth with a culture of specialization and excellence. For more information, please go to

About Teuwen Communications

Teuwen Communications is an award-winning food, wine and spirits public relations and marketing agency with influence based in New York City. With a collaborative philosophy, out-of-the-box thinking and deep industry connections, Teuwen builds strategic and creative programs across media and trade relations, promotions and partnerships, digital marketing and bespoke events.

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