Cellar Talk with Claudia Quevedo
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Honoring Women in Wine:
Quevedo on organization, hard work, and embracing your female superpowers
Interviewed by Nick Baines
1. How did you get your start in wine?
I grew up in the Douro Valley region of Portugal, surrounded by vineyards and wine. I’ve always been a “science girl,” so it came naturally to me when my dad encouraged me to study enology.
2. Where are you in your career now?
I’ve come a long way since I started making wine 22 years ago but as Einstein said, “the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” I have always worked at our family’s winery and I wouldn’t change it, but I would also love to spend some time in other regions like Australia or California.
3. How do Naked Angels empower you as a winemaker?
When Angels come to visit us at our winery, or when they send us their comments sharing their tasting experience with such detail it is tremendously satisfying. Their feedback describing our wines and preferences makes me realize what they enjoy the most about our wines.
4. What’s a BIG lesson you’ve learned along the way?
That anything is possible! I repeat this mantra to myself many times, especially during the craziest days of the harvest when getting to the end of the day seems rather impossible. With a lot of organization and a positive attitude we can achieve anything.
5. What’s the message you have for other women winemakers?
I would tell them to follow their gut. It’s a powerful skill that women have and is often overlooked. Making wine is a blend of science, experience and feelings.
When we are producing wine, we need to follow our instincts even if numbers or statistics show us otherwise. Also, I would suggest that if they get pregnant they should take advantage of that stage as they will develop natural superpowers like super-smell and super-taste. Great wine creations can come from that incredible phase of your lives.
6. What is your big hope for women in wine in the future?
My hope is that the wine industry, and society in general, overcomes existing gender stereotypes. That the roles traditionally taken by men continue to be fulfilled more and more by talented women. I am sure a more femimine presence in the sector will bring even more richness and wonderful creations to the wine industry.
Lastly, is there a women’s empowerment organization or cause you support or would like to?
I currently don’t support any specific organization but as a mother of a brilliant daughter, I try daily to empower her and share examples of successful women around the world to inspire her.
Follow Claudia & Oscar Quevedo on Naked Wines
Nick Baines is a food and travel writer based in London.