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Celebrating 27 Years of Leadership!
We support the success and professional development of individuals in the wine industry

Learn More About Our Journey

Women for WineSense is the premier wine education and networking organization for wine industry professionals and wine aficionados. We believe that wine enhances and enriches everyday life and our goal is to promote the appreciation and responsible enjoyment of wine. With that in mind, we support the success and professional development of women and men in wine and associated industries. WWS is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization 


The Beginning

 

Our founders, Michaela Rodeno and Julie Johnson, were and still are leaders in the wine industry.  Back in 1990 their children asked them why they were “making drugs.” Outraged that their children were not receiving balanced information, they formed Women for WineSense to discuss moderate wine consumption, its benefits in a healthy lifestyle, and the need for balanced information in warning labels on wine bottles.  “Xeroxing” hundreds of pages, a small WWS army began its quest to defend wine. Joining Michaela and Julie were industry icons like Margaret Duckhorn, Rosemary Cakebread, Kit Wall, Lynne Carmichael, Dawnine Dyer, Zelma Long, Lili Thomas, Annette Shafer, Susan Sokol-Blosser, Gabrielle Saylor, Cathy Clifton, Margrit Mondavi, and many more.

Michaela writes in her book, From Bubbles to Boardrooms, “Legislators in Sacramento and Washington were eager to meet with us. The media wanted to hear more. I have never felt or seen such energy in my life, before or after, the early days of Women for WineSense.”  Congress declared American Wine Appreciation Week in April 1993. Having achieved their initial mission, the WWS members decided in 1994 during a strategic planning meeting facilitated by Karen Jess-Lindsley and Linda Cyrog to continue the organization as a forum for wine education and relationship building.


Our History
  • 1990: Napa/Sonoma Founding Chapter Opens
  • 1992: Portland Chapter Opens
  • 1993: American Wine Appreciation Week
  • 1994: New York City Chapter Opens
  • 1998: Seattle Chapter Opens
  • 1999: Rochester Chapter Opens
  • 2004: Professional Roundtables Introduced
  • 2007: Dallas Chapter Opens, 1st Grand Event
  • 2008: 2nd Grand Event
  • 2009: Pittsburgh Chapter Opens
  • 2010: 3rd Grand Event
  • 2012: San Francisco Chapter Opens, 4th Grand Event
  • 2013: Girls Gone Willamette
  • 2014: Central Florida and TX Hill Country Chapters Open
  • 2015: 25th Anniversary Celebration and 5th Grand Event
National Presidents
  • Julie Johnson 1990 – 1991
  • Sharon Goldman 1993 – 1994
  • Michaela Rodeno 1994
  • Lynne Carmichael 1995
  • Cathy Clifton 1996
  • Rebecca Robinson 1997
  • Claudia di Clemente 1998
  • Kerry Manahan-Ehlow 1999
  • Caroline Coleman Bailey 1999 – 2001
  • Kim Ledbetter Bronson 2001 – 2004
  • Gabrielle Leonhard 2004 – 2008
  • Karen Jess-Lindsley 2008 – 2011
  • Rebecca Moore 2012 – 2013
  • Jonjie Lockman 2014 – 2016
  • Karla Barber 2016 - present



The Organization Today

The mission established in 1994 remains our mission today: To provide educational and relationship building opportunities for wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts. We have ten chapters across the United States with hundreds of members. 49% are wine industry professionals and 51% are wine aficionados. Each chapter caters to the needs of their members while supporting our common mission. Our chapters host well over 100 events per year ranging from intimate gatherings to learn about a specific wine region or wine style to professional development seminars for 100+ people. Many WineSense chapters contribute thousands of dollars each year in scholarships to women in wine-related fields of study.