A few months ago, I went to an industry event with retailers from all over the country. I soon realized that I and the lady next me were the only women in the entire room! Two women out of roughly 100 attendees—that’s a pretty eye-opening number. In 2011, women accounted for 50.8% of the US population, yet we are often outnumbered at events like trade shows, industry gatherings and supplier meetings. Emails and phone calls can sometimes mask the disparity, but when multiple people gather, it can be telling.
The lack of female representation is one of the reasons I hold my female role models like Rosalba Vitanza so dear to my heart. Rosalba didn’t start out in the wine industry. She was an assistant to a philosophy professor in Rome, but fate had another path for her. While on a short getaway to Tuscany, drinking wine and enjoying the beautiful scenery, she decided that was where she was supposed to be.
“I felt connected,” she said, “so that night I decided to start a new life with this huge desire to know more about wine. Over the next two months, I moved to Tuscany to begin my wonderful journey as a winemaker.”
Rosalba is up front about the struggles she’s faced. “In 1995, there were four, maybe five women in Montalcino making wines. Even the consultants, oenologist and vineyard managers were mainly men.”
This forced her to learn every aspect of the business and become stronger and more confident in her abilities. Rosalba’s passion really shines in her beautiful wines. Her range, The Andretta Collection, is a great expression of Tuscany—taking you through a journey of Chianti and Brunello. The highlight is her Brunello, made as the 10th anniversary gift for her husband Andretta. 100% Sangioves and aged in French Oak, it consistently receives 90+ points.
I asked Rosalba if she had advice for the next generation of women in the industry. “Embrace who you are. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. This is a competitive world, but hard work, passion and persistence will keep us (women) on the right path.”
I personally love all her wines, but if made to pick my favorite, I’d go with Andretta Chianti Riserva. It is organic and beautifully made with notes of plum, dark cherry and cedar. You can enjoy this medium-bodied red wine with pasta, with red sauce, or roasted red meats.
Now that you’ve got inside info, grab a bottle of these amazing Andretta wines at your local Liquor Barn – Party Mart!
Andretta Chianti Classico
Liquor Barn-Party Mart
Private Label Wine and Spirits Buyer