The Vinguard’s 2018 listing of women-owned wineries, wine bars, shops and restaurants

A few friends have asked me which venues in the wine industry they should avoid as they do not wish to patronize those who discriminate against, harass or in any way devalue women. Boycotts serve a purpose but I’m more interested in promoting the people and establishments who do a lot to support women so let’s do the inverse and have a Girlcott![i]

Last year, I made a list of women winemakers and women-owned companies that worked in the Bay Area. This year, I’ve added a few spots in other places that have come to my attention and lean in a natural direction. I’m not being super hardcore about what “natural” means but I believe pretty strongly that people should avoid wines that are vinified with chemicals.

Also, since it’s International Women’s Day, I want to shine a light on a few of the female wine professionals who I respect not only for their wine talent but also for what they’ve done to bolster and help other women.

Barbara Haimes

I met Barbara Haimes on a dark and stormy winter night in 1994 or 1995. She was the manager and wine buyer for the China Moon Café,[ii] where she created one of the best wine lists in the city at the time. She’s been a manager at Zuni Café, wine consultant to Café Rouge and Shakewell in Oakland, and an Instructor of Culinary Arts & Hospitality at City College in San Francisco. These are all notable accomplishments but what I think makes her such a giant is that she has the most attuned and intelligent palate of anyone I’ve met. Being able to synthesize what you experience cerebrally with what you taste is a talent and having the ability to translate that so it makes sense to others is a unique gift.

She has also been a tremendous sounding board to me and others over the years. While the position of women in business might be a hot topic now, it’s something that Barbara has always been mindful of and, as she entered into the wine and food industry when there were considerably fewer women to be found, she has a perspective that is incredibly valuable.



Shelley Lindgren

It might not seem like a big deal today but when A16 opened its doors on Chestnut Street in 2004, Shelley Lindgren’s southern Italian centric wine list sent shock waves throughout the Bay Area. Some considered it bold, many genius but it would not have been as groundbreaking if it was not so impeccably chosen. Beyond its wine selection, A16 has been holding Festa Della Donna every March since 2005, a dinner celebrating female winemakers

From the getgo, A16 and SPQR have always had a lot of women on staff and in managerial positions. Shelley has become a role model for so many women who want to have their own restaurants, create a unique wine program and perhaps also have a family at the same time. No one says this is easy but Shelley’s continual grace supplies endless inspiration.


Erin Coburn

I don’t know Erin Coburn nearly as well as I know Barbara or Shelley but have been incredibly impressed with her commitment to giving back to the community since she opened minimo/Oakland Crush a little over two years ago. Beyond what she’s done in a charitable sense, minimo has provided the Bay Area with a superb natural wine venue where any and all are made to feel welcome and comfortable.

Over the last couple of months we’ve been organizing an event on sexism in the wine industry that is taking place on March 19th* and knowing that there are women such as Erin who have an egalitarian spirit when it comes to wine, are very professional and also dedicated to making this industry more equitable gives me a lot of hope.


[i]  Lori Andrus, who is moderating the panel on Sexism in the Wine Industry on March 19th, brought this term to my attention.

[ii] Some of you might remember this was Barbara Tropp’s restaurant. Tropp passed away in 2001 at the age 53. Even though her life was cut short, she made a huge impact on the San Francisco culinary scene, having introduced Chinese fusion to the Bay Area.

*The panel discussion is full and is just for the trade but there is a wine tasting from 6 – 8 pm benefiting the Times Up Legal Defense Fund. Suggested donation $20. minimo, 420 3rd Street, Oakland.

Selections poured by:

Nadia Dmytriw, Floraison Selections
Alleah Friedrichs, Bliss Wine Imports
Erin Pooley, Little Frances
Nicole Walsh, Ser Winery



Amplify Wines (Marlen Porter) 

A Tribute to Grace (Angela Osborne)

Bloomer Creek (Debra Bermingham)

Corison (Cathy Corison)

Dashe Cellars (Anne Dashe)

Day Wines (Brianne Day)

Donkey & Goat (Tracey Brandt)

Elke (Mary Elke)

Martha Stoumen Wines (Martha Stoumen)

Favia, Room (Anna Favia-Erickson)

Inconnu Wine (Laura Brennan Bissell)

J. Brix Wines (Emily Towe)

Keep Wines (Johanna Jensen)

Kelley Fox Wines (Kelley Fox)

Keplinger (Helen Keplinger)

La Clarine Farm (Caroline Hoell)

La Garagista (Deirdre Heekin)

Lagier-Meredith (Carole Meredith)

Little Frances (Erin Pooley)

Little Crow Vit (Jessica Miller)

Margins Wine (Megan Bell)

Matthisson Wines (Jill Klein Matthisson)

Mossik Cellars (Julia Weinberg)

Neighborhood Vineyards/Sidekick (Elly Harthorn)

Onward/Farmstrong (Faith Armstrong)

Polymath Wine (Savanna Wright)

Raft Wines (Jennifer Reichardt)

Relic (Schatzi Throckmorton)

Ryme Cellars (Megan and Ryan Glaab)

Ser Winery (Nicole Walsh)

Shinn Estate Vineyards (Barbara Shinn)

Tessier Winery (Kristie Tacey)

Uncouth Vermouth (Bianca Miraglia)

Verdad (Louisa Sawyer Lindquist)


Wine Bars/Restaurants

A16, SPQR (Shelley Lindgren) SF/Oakland

The Barrel Room, Parigo (Sarah Trubnick) SF, Oakland

Bay Grape (Stevie Stacionis) Oakland

Bergamot Alley (Sarah Wardell) Healdsburg

Birba Wine (Angelea Valgiusti) SF

Botanica (Emily Fiffer, Heather Sperling) LA

Brunette (Tracy Kennard) Kingston, NY

Cadet Wine Bar (Aubrey Bailey, Colleen Flemi) Napa

Dirt Candy (Amanda Cohen) NYC

Fig and Thistle (Angela Davis) SF

PMG (Emily Gold) Boulder

The Punchdown (Lisa Costa) Oakland

The Riddler (Jen Pelka) SF

The Rose Wine Bar & Bottle Shop (Chelsea Coleman, Rae Gurne) San Diego

Table Wines (Katie Brookshire) Pacifica

Tofino Wines (April Sack) SF

Tsubaki (Courtney Kaplan) LA

Vinovore (Coly Den Haan) LA

Wolfdown (Chrissy Kim) LA

  • some of these venues also offer retail




Acme Fine Wines (Karen Williams) Napa

Bar and Garden (Lauren Johnson, Marissa Mandel) LA, Dallas

Biondivino (Ceri Smith) SF, Palo Alto

Domaine LA (Jill Bernheimer) LA

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant (Debbie Zachareas) SF

Minimo Wine Shop (Erin Coburn, Sarah Miller) Oakland

  • some of the venues also offer tasting



Wine Importers/Distributors

Amy Atwood Selections (Amy Atwood)

Bliss Wine Imports (Alleah Friedrichs, Erin Geyer)

Burke Wine (Shannon Burke)

Camille Rivière Selection (Camille Rivière)

Floraison Selections (Nadia Dmytriw)

Jenny & François/Jenny Lefcourt

Louis Dressner Selections (Denyse Louis)

Ren Hen Collective (Molly Madden)

Shed Wines (Tess Bryant) – * imported through T. Edwards

Shiverick Imports (Hope Shiverick)

Springboard Wine Company (Sybil Ajay Sanford, Elizabeth Corsini, Chloe Downing)

Sylvester/Rovine Selections (Erin Sylvester)

Terra Firma (Kristen Talley)

Vin de Frog (Murielle Robert)

Vinifera Wine Marketing (Lucy Malocsay)

Winemonger (Emily Schindler)


Writers, etc…

Tia Butts PR (Tia Butts)

The Feiring Line (Alice Feiring)

Pascaline Lepeltier

Raw Wine (Isabelle Legeron)

Karen MacNeil

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