NAPA, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Think of Napa Valley and you’ll probably think wine. And when you think of wine making, you’ll probably imagine male vintners. But there is a woman determined to change that image.
Shawna Miller’s first degree was in forestry. But one trip to Napa and everything changed.
“I came on a vacation and it was a science background but it was different. I worked outside but I really just truly loved wine.” Miller explained.
Shawna trained at wineries in New Zealand and Australia before coming back to Napa. She received her second degree in enology, the study of wines, at UC Davis. In 2011, she became winemaker of Luna Vineyards. And the next year, she scored a 98 in an international wine competition in LA.
Oscar Riveiro, Director of Retail Sales & Hospitality for Luna Vineyards told Ivanhoe, “It’s refreshing to see female winemakers making stellar plateau, the recognition that they should be doing.”
But the representation still falls short. A recent study showed out of California’s more than three-thousand wineries; only about 10 percent have women as their lead winemakers.
Being a winemaker can be extremely hard. During harvest, Shawna works 16 to 18 hours day. Last year she produced 500,000 bottles of wine at Luna. And she has a young family. Fortunately, her boss allows her to bring her baby to work. Her commitment to both her job and family inspires her co-workers.
“There’s something even more special knowing there is this winemaker with two young children and still comes to work with a full heart. It’s admirable to see.” Luna Vineyards Vice President of Marketing Nisha Singh stated.
Shawna is so thrilled to be both a mom and a winemaker; she’s willing to put in the hard work.
“To walk through the tasting room and to see and hear people enjoying it and to know they’re going to take it home to their family and friends is awesome.” Miller said.
According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a winemaker is around $55,000. Fun fact; Luna Vineyards was the first winery in Napa to plant the Italian varietal Pinot Grigio, which is a white wine and is one of Shawna’s favorites.
Contributors to this news report include: Nicole Sanchez, Producer; Brendan Compton, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.