Movers and Shakers

At Drink The Bottles, we are showcasing some great "Movers and Shakers" in the wine industry.  These are folks  who have left a footprint in the wine world through wine making, business acumen, charitable contributions or any other number of positive influences in the world of wine.

Sarah Marquis - Mollydooker Wines
Sarah Marquis of Mollydooker Wines

May 17, 2018:  Sarah Marquis of Mollydooker Wines fame is the owner, #1 cheerleader, label creator and ..... just about everything else, including wine maker of this amazing and fun brand!  Maybe they should call her Superwoman instead of Sarah?  While Mollydooker isn't the oldest winery in Australia, Sarah's background in viticulture and wine making goes back as far as the early 1990's when she began making wine for her parents at Fox Creek and then onto brands like Henry's Drive (this was a personal favorite of this writer) and their own Marquis Phillips.  Times got very tough in the wine industry and dreams came crashing down, but after some uncertain times, Sarah bounced back - in a big way!

Like most wine makers with exceptional talent, Sarah dreamed of creating her own "Enchanted Path" and owning her own winery and having complete control over the creativity, quality and daily operations without compromise.  With almost no money, she and then husband and partner Sparky, set out to create a dream and that was found in Mollydooker Wines.  Mollydooker means "left hander" in Australian and was the perfect name for this pair of south paws.  Early on, Sarah was the brains and talent behind the colorful and creative wine labels and wine names.  Quirky, smart and colorful, these labels drive buyers to them and once you've tasted a Mollydooker wine, you will keep going back for more.  I know I did!

Over the next several years, Mollydooker enjoyed (and continues to enjoy) praise from famed wine writers, critics and bloggers all over the world.  One of their first recognized accomplishments under the Mollydooker label was the 99-point rating from Wine Advocate for the 2006 "Carnival of Love".  This wine, along with the "Enchanted Path", sold out in an astonishing five days!  In 2011, I remember listing the 2010 "Gigglepot" and 2010 "Velvet Glove" in my top 25 wines of 2011 on the Midwest Wine Guy blog.  But Mollydooker doesn't rest on their laurels and they don't get big-headed from points or awards.  They continue to make the highest quality Australian wines that people love.

Mollydooker Velvet Glove bottles damaged

In 2011, the winery experienced a loss of most of their "Velvet Glove" that was to be exported and sold for $185 per bottle.  This wine is Mollydooker's creme de la creme Shiraz and while competitors secretly salivated at the loss, the wine world mourned.  But Mollydooker made the best of the million dollar-plus loss (this is why is pays to insure!) and some social media opportunities that ultimately found some new fame for Australian wine enthusiasts.

Sarah Marquis with Transform Cambodia

At Drink The Bottles I could write about a thousand amazing women in the world of wine.  But one of the things that sets these women apart from the rest is their contribution to the wine industry and/or their outreach through charitable giving.  This wonderful woman has done both!  Sarah and the Mollydooker team have supported Transform Cambodia (among many charities) for several years.  This organization helps provide education for 300 children and food for their families through three Mollydooker houses.  To find out more how you can help with this organization, click HERE.

Sarah Marquis, wine maker and owner of Mollydooker Wines

What does the future hold for Mollydooker wines and Sarah Marquis?  Nobody knows for sure, but I'm betting it goes something like this:  Raise two amazing kids who appreciate and value hard work from their parents, continue not only to create amazing wines but exceed her own expectations, provide opportunities for her community through career paths at her cellar door, provide happiness and love to those in need, both in Cambodia and locally, and continue to ride her dirt bike whenever she has the opportunity to get away from the grapes and blow off steam.  Wherever the road takes Sarah and Mollydooker, you can bet that the wine world will be there, eager to taste, support and enjoy the fruits of her labor.  Cheers!

Mollydooker Wines logo

Julie Grieb - Treveri Cellars
Julie Grieb - Treveri Cellars

April 27, 2018:  This week, Drink The Bottles is saluting Julie Grieb, owner and general manager of Treveri Cellars of Washintgon.  Julie spent 25 years in the banking industry before deciding to follow a passion of wine.  But this isn't just any wine!  Treveri Cellars specializes in and concentrates on producing quality and memorable sparkling wine in the M├Ęthode Champenoise, with no tolerance for anything less than perfection.

The sparkling wines from Treveri Cellars have mass appeal.  Once you have tasted their selections, you will quickly understand why they are so popular, but, like me, will be puzzled at how they can offer such a quality product at such low prices.  Their wines have even been served at White House State Department receptions, which is quite an accomplishment and an honor for a winery that began less than a decade ago.  

With Julie, it's not all just about business.  Julie is very involved with her community as a member of the Visit Yakima Convention Center and as a member of the Yakima Chamber of Commerce.  Her generosity has also been felt with her service to the non-profits of Wine Yakima Valley and KCTS9 Yakima/Seattle, just to name a couple.  As someone who grew up in a family business that has given so much to the community, I love hearing stories of service and charities by our partners in the wine world

Keep watching Julie and the Treveri Cellars team!   They are in the process of launching a line of reserve sparkling wines!  Fun fact:  Did you know that Treveri Cellars produces non-traditional varietals of sparkling wines like Riesling and Mueller-Thurgau in addition to the more traditional selections?   These folks are blazing a path in the sparkling wine world!  Cheers to you, Julie!

Treveri Cellars Logo

Cathy Corison - Corison Winery
Cathy Corison - Corison Winery

April 19, 2018:  Today's featured woman in wine is Napa Valley legend and admired winemaker, Cathy Corison.  Cathy, along with husband William Martin, are the owners of Corison Winery.  Cathy has been making wine for 40 years, beginning with an internship in 1978.  Her time in the vineyards, the barrel rooms and labs for four decades has made her one of the most revered and tenured winemakers in the area!  I had the pleasure of first tasting her Cabernet Sauvignon in early 2012 and instantly fell in love.  You can find my notes on the brand new 2015 harvest of her flagship wine here on the blog.  

Cathy is a stalwart for incredible wines, but she never loses site of the gracious earth that provides the resources for her craft.  For over 20 years, she and her team have organically farmed her Kronos Vineyards, long before organic was politically correct or widely accepted.  Every aspect of her winemaking, vineyard management and daily business is mindful of the carbon footprint and they minimize that footprint through electric and low-emission vehicles, passive cooling for the winery building, nesting boxes for birds to control insects and they always welcome rodent-hunting owls.

What sets Corison Cabernet Sauvignon apart from the rest?  Vision.  Vineyards.  Experience.  In 2016, Corison harvested their 30th vintage.  Because of her love of the earth, the grapes and the Valley, Cathy's sustained vision of making quality wines at a fair price continues from year to year.  The Kronos and Sunbasket Vineyards each exhibit unique fruits and this fall Corison will release their very first Sunbasket Vineyard wines.  (I hope we get the chance to sample!)

Nearly everyone who visits wine country has the romantic dream of owning a winery and making wines, either for themselves, their family or for a sustainable business.  Unfortunately, for many, that dream never becomes a reality, but for Cathy, she understands the hard work, love of the soil, respect of the land and decades of trial and error.  That is what makes Cathy Corison one of our featured "Women of Wine".  Cheers to you!

Corison Winery Logo

Dawn Galante - Dawn's Dream Winery
Dawn Galante - Dawn's Dream Winery

April 14, 20118:  The first lady in the "Women of Wine" series is Dawn Galante, owner of Dawn's Dream Winery.  Born and raised in Michigan, she and husband Jack have raised five children, each one bearing the name of a wine from her winery.  A self-proclaimed adventurer, Dawn is a thrill seeker who enjoys scuba diving, hiking and other outdoor sports when she is able to tear herself away from work.

But for Dawn it's not all about making beautiful wines.  Her winery's namesake truly expresses a dream that Dawn has for helping those through charitable contributions in her hometown and around the world.  She has a passion for charities that help women and children in particular and she is often "hands on" when it comes to giving her time as a guest bartender at fundraisers in her tasting room.

Dawn and her crew can be found helping their local neighbors as well.  During the devastating wine country fires of 2017, Dawn and her team collected donations at the winery for those affected by the destruction of the fires.  At Drink The Bottles, we salute Dawn Galante for her passion, compassion and for just being an overall wonderful, kind person.  Cheers!

Learn more about Dawn's Dream Winery

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