Recorded weekly at The Panel Wine Lounge in Sonoma, California, WINE WOMEN Radio features members of the nonprofit, professional organization that’s focused on providing the tools, guidance and creativity for its members to attain wine industry prominence.
The show’s hosts include Marcia Macomber, Wine Women co-founder and marketing specialist; Lisa Adams Walter, publicist in wine, food and the arts; Misty Roudebush Cain, director of DTC and marketing, St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery, and other guest hosts. Honing in on current wine industry activities.
Cathy Corison arrived in Napa Valley a mere 48 hours after graduation from Pomona College. She’d taken a wine appreciation course at Pomona on a complete whim two years earlier and fell in love with wine for all the usual reasons. As a Biology major, her attention was drawn to the fact that wine is the result of a fascinating collaboration among a series of living systems.
More than 40 years later, the hosts felt honored to spend the recording session sitting in Cathy’s tank room (that sounds funny, doesn’t it?), admiring all she and husband William Martin (designer of the Corison Winery “barn” on the estate), had accomplished since the initial spark of interest decades earlier. While the tanks were empty, awaiting fall’s harvest when the winemaking cycle begins again, sitting at the table with Cathy hearing her stories provided a glimpse of both the past and the future.
Cathy Corison’s cabernet sauvignon has received more accolades and recognition over the decades than we could begin to touch on, including Cathy being named Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2011. So what spurred Cathy’s quest for cabernet power and elegance in Napa Valley?
A master’s degree in Enology at U.C. Davis was essential from Cathy’s point of view, and then a harvest internship at Freemark Abbey in 1978. There was no holding her back, despite the fact that she tried to get hired as a winemaker at […]
Martha Barra was not destined for the wine business from an early age. (Our show guests come to the wine business from all walks of life.) Martha’s journey into wine started with a walk down the aisle. She married Charlie Barra, a pioneer of organic grape growing in Mendocino County, in 1980.
Charlie, on the other hand, was born into a family with deep roots in the wine industry going back to the early 1800s in Italy. Working side by side with Charlie for almost 40 years (who passed a couple of years ago), Martha played a pivotal role in helping build the family wine business into what it is today, with more than 350 acres of certified organic vineyards, two wine brands, and a 2.8 million gallon custom crush facility.
Early work experience in the field of law and real estate helped Martha develop a strong business acumen that was critical to the development of the Barra family’s footprint in Mendocino County. A driving force behind the creation of all of the Barra Family wine brands (BARRA of Mendocino, CORO Mendocino and Girasole Vineyards) Martha’s hard work, dedication and keen business sense have helped build global notoriety of their family-owned and farmed wines.
But we’re getting ahead of our story, or rather, the BARRA of Mendocino story. Charlie Barra purchased Redwood Valley Vineyards back in 1955. Back then a ton of grapes went for as little as $40. And they went into “vin […]