I am back with our final VA Women in Wine Wednesday! Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Ashleigh White, the assistant winemaker/winegrower at Glen Manor Vineyards.
What made you want to pick a career in such a male dominated industry?
I wouldn’t say I picked or sought out this career. It fell into my lap with my first taste of the industry working for the family business. After a few internships that were focused on my biology degree, my uncle/winemaker, Jeff White, offered me a job behind the tasting room counter in 2014. The following year, I began working full time with Jeff in the vineyard and in the cellar. The thought that this industry is male dominated never crossed my mind. Perhaps because, what industry isn’t? I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing women in this industry, especially throughout my vintages working abroad. Working and learning alongside these women has broken down that seemingly male dominated barrier. Their lasting impacts have shaped my experience and time in this industry.
What makes Virginia special to you in the wine industry?
Virginia is special to me because I was born and raised here. I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to work with wine in different parts of the world, but there is something special about coming back home to beautiful Virginia with the knowledge that we can make equally competitive, impactful wine. I’ve enjoyed sharing Virginia wines with people who have never had the opportunity to taste wines from our state. Not only hearing their positive feedback but seeing it on their face is always rewarding. Being a fifth-generation farmer to this Virginia property is unique. Learning from my uncle and being a part of the changes in the vineyard and in the cellar while looking towards the future has been eye opening. Because Virginia is youthful by industry standards, I love that we all can be creative and learn from each other to further establish our place.
What is your favorite wine you make and why?
Petit Manseng is my favorite wine we make. It is such a loud and expressive wine, and it’s unique vintage to vintage. Petit Manseng is a full on sensory experience that you can’t quite get from the other varieties. It really makes you stop and think when you taste it.
A big thanks goes out to Ashleigh for participating! I hope you enjoyed learning and reading about some amazing female winemakers in Virginia. I know I have! Cheers, Paige