BC wine project supports women in beverage and food industries.
Coming full circle from her start in the wine industry, Mireille Sauvé, director of the Wine Umbrella and member of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, is blending her wine skills with her desire to support women in BC’s beverage and food industries.
Thanks to a scholarship from the Dames organization, Sauvé became Canada’s youngest female sommelier in 1997, and together with a team of women she is paying it forward with the production of the Dames Wine. Proceeds from the sale of the #dameswine — both a white and a red — will support food and beverage education for women in BC.
“A number of extraordinary women have benefited from scholarship funds provided by Les Dames d’Escoffier, and many are now taking part in this project to raise funds for future scholarships,” says Sauvé. “Everyone who buys this wine can savour each sip while supporting dynamic women.”
Grapes for the two wines, which have limited production, have been sourced from vineyards throughout the Okanagan, and the wines have been produced at Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls. Bottling takes place at the end of this month with a release date in mid-May.
The Dames White is a light straw colour with aromas of apricot, apple, pineapple and a hint of lime zest and mineral undertones. On the palate — light-bodied with lively acidity, racy lemon and lime. Pear, apricot and lychee fruit flavours.
Sauvé refers to the red as a “fireplace” wine, enjoyed on its own or with charcuterie, cheeses, burgers or stews. It has a deep crimson colour and a rich, vanilla-infused mulled berry aroma with bright red cherry juice and notes of star anise.
Fewer than 550 cases, total, will be available for purchase, and bottles will appear on wine lists at several BC restaurants.
“Creating the Dames Wine celebrates women in BC’s wine industry,” continues Sauvé. “These are unique wines and the first project of its kind in Canada.”
Les Dames d’Escoffier is a a society of professional woman. Its purpose is to promote the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, the arts of the table and other fields as they relate to these disciplines. Women in BC are invited to apply for scholarships annually to pursue their education in these fields.
Sauvé is the founder of The Wine Umbrella, Vancouver’s most established wine industry consulting firm. She and her team works with all members of Western Canada’s food and drink industry to increase wine appreciation through information, promotion and inspiration.
Women who have contributed their skills to the Dames Wine include:
Dame Mireille Sauvé, Winemaker / Project Director
Cheryl Bishop, Assistant Winemaker, Meyer Family Vineyards
Ann Sperling, Viticulturalist
Katie Holmes, Viniculturalist, Summerhill Organic Winery
Janice Meyer Stevens, Co-owner of Meyer Family Vineyards
Christine Moulson, Branding Consultant and Designer
Dame Allison Markin, Marketing and Digital Content Consultant
Dame Jennifer Schell, Media Consultant
Ronnie Lee Hill, Photographer
Adele Gougeon, OKLP (label) Production
Ramona Lehnert, By the Glass Wine Dispenser Canada