Virginia Women in Wine Wednesday

Corry Craighill

This week I am back with another amazing female winemaker in Virginia, Corry Craighill. Corry is the winemaker at Septenary Winery.

Read below for the full Q&A.

1. What made you want to pick a career in such a male dominated industry?

It took me several vintages to realize that this job was going to become a career.  I started out by harvesting grapes and washing lugs, but now I get to manage the vineyard and winemaking process.  I have had to maneuver through situations where I felt that being a woman was the other person’s problem, but I don’t believe this issue is unique to the wine industry.  The community both in Virginia and internationally is welcoming no matter what–as long as you are curious and passionate about wine.  In addition, there are some great wine industry women’s groups and resources that are available.  I have met so many powerful and intelligent women who are helping to drive our industry forward with new ideas.  

2. What makes Virginia special to you in the wine industry?

Virginia is a place that is open to innovation.  We do not have a state grape or a particular style to rally behind, but that is part of what makes Virginia a fun place to make wine.  The growing processes and wine quality continues to improve, so the bar to make interesting yet clean, marketable wines gets raised every year.  Growers and winemakers are faced with a lot of challenges due to Virginia’s variable climate (let alone climate change), but that forces us to think about how the details of what we did 10 years ago doesn’t directly translate to now.

3. What is your favorite wine you make and why? 

I love making Chardonnay.  I think you see into the winemaker’s brain a little more than with other varietals; you really see his or her style come out.  The picking decision is key for me–to find the right balance of acidity, potential alcohol, and flavors.  I choose to ferment and age in barrel, but I select barrels that respect the fruit and provide texture rather than big flavor.  

A big thanks to Corry! Be sure to check back next week for my next feature. Until then, cheers! Paige

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