8 picked for California North Coast Women in Wine Awards
North Bay Business Journal announces the winners of its first Women in Wine Awards.
The eight professionals to be celebrated this fall come from various fields within the industry, from winemaking to hospitality.
“The women being celebrated have pioneered sustainable wine production practices, promoted inclusivity and diversity within the industry, and spearheaded projects that support local communities and environmental conservation,” said Publisher Lorez Bailey.
Here are this year’s Women in Wine Awards winners by category (click on the person’s name to read the interview):
Impactful Leader Award
Karissa Kruse, CEO, Sonoma County Winegrowers
This award recognizes a woman in the wine industry who has significantly influenced and positively transformed her field. Through her actions, innovations, and dedication, she has made a profound difference, leaving a lasting mark on the industry and inspiring others to drive meaningful change.
Rising Star Award
Riley Flanagan, vintner and assistant sales manager, Flanagan Wines and Riley’s Rows
This recognition goes to a promising newcomer who has already shown remarkable potential and early accomplishments in any area of the wine business.
Heart of the Community Award
Carrie Mauritson, director of hospitality, Mauritson Wines
This celebrates a woman who has made significant contributions to her local wine community through advocacy, events and outreach efforts.
Excellence in Sustainability Award
Mari Jones, president, Emeritus Vineyards
This recognizes a woman who has made significant strides in promoting and implementing sustainable and environmentally responsible practices within the wine industry.
Ivonne Dresser, director of technical product support and development for fermentation, Gusmer Enterprises Inc.
This celebrates a woman’s pioneering spirit, groundbreaking contributions, and forward-thinking innovations that have pushed the boundaries of winemaking, viticulture or the business generally. It honors her role as a visionary driving positive change and setting new standards within the wine world.
Inspirational Leader Award
Tracy Sweeney, vice president of direct to consumer, Treasury Wine Estates
This honors a trailblazing woman who not only excels in her role but also serves as a source of motivation and empowerment to others.
Excellence in Winemaking Award
Heidi Bridenhagen, director of winemaking, Dough Wines and Distinguished Vineyards; winemaker, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards
Sarah Wuethrich, winemaker, Maggy Hawk Wines and WindRacer Wines
This accolade recognizes female winemakers who have demonstrated exceptional skills, innovation and consistency in producing high-quality wines.
About the awards
North Bay business people were invited to nominate candidates for these awards, starting in mid-August. A panel of judges assessed their achievements, leadership examples and career impacts before choosing winners Oct. 4.
The awards event is set for Nov. 8, 4–6:30 p.m. at Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena. Tickets are available for purchase here.