According to Oxford English Dictionary, a trailblazer is a pioneer, an innovator – a person who makes a new track through a wild country. This definition could not better describe these amazing Sonoma County wine women. Some have forged a new path for upcoming generations, others have seen opportunity where others did not, and the rest have made something common into an extraordinary craft.
Dana Epperson – Duckhorn Wine Company.
Ferrari-Carano, Edna Valley Vineyard, Artesa, Decoy, Etude, Migration – these are only a few of the impressive names under Dana’s experience belt. Dana is a third generation Sonoman with a passion for everything wine. She is an experienced winemaker but also has hands-on vineyard experience and grower relations. Although her path to winemaking has followed somewhat of a natural straight line from a B.S. in Food & Science from Cal Poly, Dana has proven that to succeed in this industry you have to be willing to learn all aspects that influence the final product. If you are interested in tasting a true Russian River Valley product, look for one of Dana Epperson’s creations, and you won’t be disappointed.
Debra Mathy – Dutcher Crossing Winery.
Originally from Wisconsin and a teacher, Debra became the first single woman winery owner in Sonoma in 2007. Her high school studies abroad open her eyes to the world of wine, while her dad’s support and encouragement fueled her dream of having her own winery into reality. Being the first was not an easy task. Debra has worked hard to prove her commitment to winemaking, to quality and most of all to Sonoma County. She is without a doubt an entrepreneur and a leader. Dutcher Crossing is a small batch winery with exceptional quality wines which she has grown from 35 acres to over 400 acres.
Sophie Gray (Boddington) – Sophie James Wine Co.
Sophie and James saw something were most could not – an outdated but full of potential property in the heart of Sonoma County. That is how the story of Sophie James wine started. Their first harvest was in 2010, followed by the first bottling in 2012, and formally establishing the label in 2017. Sophie Gray, a career stem cell research scientist and a mother of two, is now the head of operations for this thoughtfully crafted wine and brand. Sophie has been able to not only produce quality wine but also create an entire experience for her consumers through the Sophie James Club. She has formed strategic alliances to make her brand an experience not only of delicious wine. Just peek at her IG feed and you will instantly fall in love with what Sophie James has to offer.