Ladies and Gentleman, please meet Armelle!
Armelle is a winemaker located in the region of Languedoc. She is a strong women who decided to take on the challenge of growing a vineyard and having their own wine business.
We have been working with her for a while and in light of the International Women’s Day, we wanted to honour her story as well as other women out there who share the same journey and had faced the same “obstacles” along the way. For this, we met her last week at the Millésime Bio fair (we will tell you more about it in a future post). At a bio fair? Yep, she was there because her wines are not only good for you but also good for the planet. We did a little interview to learn more about her, here is what she told us:
Armelle started her adventure in the winemaking 8 years ago. After 15 years working in the commercial side of the wine industry, she decided to follow her passion: WINEMAKING (something she wanted to do since she was teenager).
Being a winemaker is not an easy job, “for a winemaker the most important thing is the vine, to have good grapes, then you need to know how to actually make the wine and then there is the commercial side. I learned a lot on the way; I asked my neighbours and friends, I learned how to prune the vines, how to take care of them and now I am part of a group of sustainable agriculture. Little by little, I learned every day”.
For sure, winemaker is clearly not an easy job and it can be even “harder” for woman. Armelle told us how people wouldn’t believe in her. They would say: “You are a woman all alone”, “You’re not going to make it”. Armelle thinks that “they would have not said that to a man”. But why would it be different for a woman winemaker? Of course, there is some physical work which could be considered as a “hurdle”. Despite that aspect, Armelle did everything by herself (she does not have employees) and find some extra motivation in thinking “if a man can make it why not me”. She moves things, she carries them, she takes cares of her vine and today, she is here to prove it!
Today, 8 years later, Armelle produces white, rosé and red wines. Each of her 8 cuvées has a specific meaning: Amazone, Alibi, Audace, Alicante, Aramon, ADN, Affranchie, Alors and Across the Universe (You can find most of them at our shop). She produces over 25000 bottles per year and she keeps growing, slowly as she wants to preserve the essence of her domain.
Armelle is not only following her dream but also helps fighting the stereotypes. Although the situation improved in the past years, there is still work to do. That is precisely why Vinifilles was created. This group of 21 female winemakers support each other by answering technical questions and even sending each other clients or referrals.
For those of you (men or women) who would like start a new adventure and join the winemaker's community, Armelle has a little advice:
“You have to believe in your dreams. This was project I had long time ago but I always believed in it. I think we are all capable. There are difficult times, you need to be courageous, go beyond the limits and give it all. We are as capable as a man. I made it with 5 hectares, so there is no reason for any other woman not to make it!”
From us, go after your passions! You need some courage? Pour yourself some wine and get going!