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Vin De Filles: A Women’s Wine Project

A few years ago, travels to the Champagne province of France would inspire a unique wine label at Page Springs Cellars.

A few years ago, travels to the Champagne province of France would inspire a unique wine label at Page Springs Cellars.

Originally Published: May 11, 2021 11:05 a.m.

A few years ago, travels to the Champagne province of France would inspire a unique wine label at Page Springs Cellars.

PSC Owners Gayle and Eric Glomski enjoyed a wine tasting, tour and serendipitously met the owner of the Duval-Leroy vineyard to hear her story.

Mrs. Duval-Leroy and her husband had collaborated to reconstruct the winery for her to take over after his anticipated death.

After his death, Mrs. Duval-Leroy hired a female vineyard manager, a female winemaker and created a wine called Femme de Champagne in honor of women.

When asked about the inspiration for the project Gayle elaborated, “I have worked in the vineyards and cellar throughout the last 16 years since Page Springs Cellars’ inception. In 2019, I was asked to manage a harvest.

Subconsciously, I asked mostly women to help harvest grapes at Page Springs Cellars’ Home Vineyard. I was on the back of our truck dumping grapes from buckets into our fermentation bins and noticed that our picking crew was mostly women doing grueling physical labor without a second thought or complaint. It was the ‘ah ha’ moment when I thought, we need to recognize and support the women behind the production of winemaking.”

The idea of a female-produced wine was proposed to Bree Nation, PSC’s Cellar Mastress and Co-Owner of The Oddity Wine Collective, and Lauren Maldonado, multifaceted manager at PSC & Co-Owner of Art of Wine in Sedona.

The three collaborated on their mission statement for the project: a wine produced by women to highlight the vitality and feminine strength within the world of wine. Bree’s idea was to extend the project to go beyond helping women in the wine community to helping women in the Verde Valley.

After much research, they decided to work with Verde Valley Sanctuary, a local non-profit organization that provides shelter and support to women who have survived domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

The wine label, Vin De Filles, French for girls’ wine, came naturally and received full support from PSC’s Owner, Vineyard Manager and Winemaker to use PSC’s grapes, production facility, event space and tasting room.

The tribe of women working on the project range between the ages of 11 and 62.

They have been tending to two different grape varieties, Malvasia Bianca and Syrah since the beginning of the 2020 winegrowing season. Jenelle Bonifield, a professional female photographer has been photo documenting the journey.

Some of the tasks that have been completed are pruning, shoot thinning, suckering, leaf pulling, and hedging. The vines were just covered with nets to reduce damage from animals until harvest.

The female team will start a co-fermentation with the two different grapes using wild yeast, then will nurture the wine from barrel to bottle.

A portion of the profits from the project will be donated to Verde Valley Sanctuary for their housing expansion project which will increase their capacity and provide the women of the shelter more private accommodations for their families and pets.

The release party will be hosted at PSC as a five-course dinner with each course prepared by a female chef and paired with a female supported wine.

An auction will be hosted to include artwork created by women to encourage more donations for Verde Valley Sanctuary’s expansion project.

The release date is dependent on when the wine is ready; the anticipated date is Spring/Summer 2021.

If you are interested in Vin De Filles, follow PSC on Instagram, az_vin_de_filles and Page Springs Cellars’ Facebook page or contact gayle@pagespringscellars.com.

If you would like to make a direct donation to Verde Valley Sanctuary’s expansion project, please contact Shawn Armour, Development Director, at development@verdevalleysanctuary.org, 282-2755, or visit their website, verdevalleysanctuary.org.