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WWS Winemaking Roundtable on Leadership Development March 30

Submitted By: Jenna Sanders, March 28, 2016
RUTHERFORD, CALIFORNIA: The Napa | Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense’s (WWS) Winemakers’ & Viticultural Roundtable will host a panel discussion about General Manager Leadership Development specifically through womens’ winemaking and viticultural career tracks, Wednesday, March 30th, 2016, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Cave Grotto at Rutherford Hill located at 200 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford, Napa Valley, 94573.

Event Host, Marisa Taylor, Rutherford Hill General Manager and Head Winemaker will be joined by Elizabeth Vianna, Chimney Rock General Manager and Head Winemaker, and Remi Cohen, Lede Family Wines Vice President and General Manager, for an interactive panel discussion of their unique experiences working from entry-level production and viticulture roles all the way to General Managers, building noted brands and talented teams along the way.

Marisa Taylor has tremendous winemaking experience from a diverse career with positions at Piper Sonoma, J Winery, S. Anderson Vineyard, Colognole Winery in Rufina, Italy, Williams-Selyem and Rutherford Hill. At Rutherford Hill, Ms. Taylor serves a dual role as General Manager and Head Winemaker. She leads a talented winemaking team crafting award-winning Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet.

Elizabeth Vianna first came to Chimney Rock as a harvest intern in 1999, while completing her Master’s degree in enology at U.C. Davis. Upon graduation, she worked directly with many of the region’s top winemakers including Heidi Barrett, Erin Green, Pam Starr, and Celia Masyczek. She was named to the position of assistant winemaker at Chimney Rock in January 2002 and advanced to the position of winemaker in 2005. She was promoted to General Manager of Chimney Rock Winery in 2011 while continuing in her role as head winemaker at the Stags Leap District estate winery. During her tenure at Chimney Rock she has consistently produced wines that have been highly rated among critics and highly valued among consumers.

Remi Cohen is the Vice President and General Manager of Lede Family Wines, encompassing Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley. In her role, Cohen directs the Cliff Lede Vineyards winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible for top quality, small-lot winemaking. In addition, she is a brand ambassador and oversees distribution of all wines throughout the domestic and international markets. Her progression through the viticultural track in roles from Bouchaine, Merryvale, her own consulting work and trade organizations will round out the panel’s perspective.

The roundtable will open at 3:00 p.m. with wines, fellowship and networking in the outdoor pavilion followed by a 3:30 p.m. behind-the-scenes winemaker tour with Marisa Taylor. At 4:00 p.m., the group will gather in the Cave Grotto for announcements then enjoy the panel discussion, followed by a question and answer session. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bottle or two of wine for the host and speaker panel.

Roundtable chair Julie Lumgair noted, "This is an exceptional opportunity for attendees to converse directly in the mingle and program times with three notable industry leaders that have truly walked the walk and excelled in our functional tracks. Each will openly share leadership lessons, answer candid questions and much more in a very friendly, relaxed environment."

WWS is the premier wine education and networking organization for industry professionals and wine aficionados. The professional Winemaking & Viticultural Roundtable meets approximately five to six times a year, taking a harvest break. It is a great time to expand skills while reconnecting and meeting new industry professionals.

The free roundtable meeting is open to WWS Winemaking Roundtable members and interested women winemakers and viticulturists who have emailed and received RSVP guest confirmations through the roundtable chair. Guests may attend up to two roundtables before deciding to join.

Please, all attendees must be pre-approved; no walk-ins. To RSVP, or for any questions on this event or future WWS Winemaking Roundtable events, please contact the Chair, Julie Hagler Lumgair ( | 415-786-3415).

Ms. Lumgair continued, "Our roundtable’s past meeting topics have focused upon the skills women winemakers and viticultural professionals need but aren’t always easy to get in their daily environment. Held at some of the region’s finest host wineries, these programs are a unique opportunity for women winemakers and viticultural professionals to connect directly, in a welcoming forum, with experts that they otherwise wouldn’t get to meet for personal advice and questions. Recent speakers have included Wine Enthusiast’s critic and writer, Virginie Boone, global consultant and olfactory expert, Alexandre Schmitt, Wine & Spirits’ senior editor, Luke Sykora, personal brand development with Dr. Liz Thach, media training with Sonoma County Tourism’s CMO, Tim Zahner, winemaker’s C-level financial finesse, and exclusive members’ holiday bottle exchanges at Schramsberg and HALL."

ABOUT WWS ROUNDTABLES: WWS’ eight current professional roundtables serve to provide a welcoming and confidential environment to meet in small peer groups on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. Members network, provide advice and support for one another, as well as foster educational occasions by inviting guest speakers in their fields and discussing "hot issues" facing members in their day-to-day work. Multiple roundtables have developed for WWS industry members in finance, accounting, human resources, winemaking/viticulture and marketing/direct-to-consumer fields.

The Napa | Sonoma Chapter currently has more than 350 members of which 70% are wine industry professionals. For inquiries about other WWS roundtables for additional functions besides winemaking and viticulture, contact the Napa | Sonoma Chapter’s Roundtables Director, Lisa Bishop Forbes,

ABOUT WOMEN FOR WINESENSE: WWS is a not-for-profit organization 501(c)6. The Napa | Sonoma Chapter founded in 1990 is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It is the founding chapter of this national organization. WWS provides outstanding educational and networking opportunities to both wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts by presenting educational, insightful and stimulating events in a non-intimidating and fun environment. Both men and women of legal drinking age are welcome to join. There is an exciting line-up of events planned for 2016. To join or learn more about the various WWS’ roundtables and general events, please visit