A few women from B.C.’s wine industry are embracing the Girl Power motto, pooling their considerable talents to launch two new wines—with full profits going toward local women’s education in the fields of food and drink.
For the Dames Wine Project, sommelier Mireille Sauvé—who heads Vancouver's Wine Umbrella Consulting Inc. —led a group of wine-savvy women from B.C. to create the 2015 Dames White and 2013 Dames Red.
The wines take their names from Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international philanthropic society of professional female leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. Membership is via invitation only, with 36 chapters throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
The mandate of the B.C. chapter is to promote the understanding, appreciation, and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, and the arts of the table and to support the education and advancement of women in related careers.
Sauvé herself was a Dames d’Escoffier scholarship recipient and credits the contribution for allowing her to complete her dream of becoming a wine pro—Canada’s youngest female sommelier, in fact—graduating from George Brown College in 1997.
With Sauvé as winemaker, both Dames wines were made exclusively from Okanagan Valley fruit and were produced at the Okanagan Falls’ Meyer Family Vineyards as a custom crush. Industry pioneer Anne Sperling of Kelowna’s Sperling Vineyards runs the vineyard where many of the grapes were sourced, while Katie Holmes of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, also in Kelowna, and Janice Meyer Stevens from Meyer Family Vineyards worked with Sauvé from the cellar to the bottling line.
The 2015 Dames White is a dry, light-bodied, aromatic blend of 80 percent Pinot Blanc, 10 percent Riesling, and 10 percent Gewurztraminer that pairs best with shellfish and seafood (especially California rolls). The 2013 Dames Red is an organic blend of 70 percent Merlot and 30 percent Syrah and is described as a luscious, fruit-forward wine, with flavours of plum and toasty vanilla that complement good cheeses and meats.