Recognized every year on March 8, International Women’s Day honors the contributions and achievements of women in our world. The 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge, highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change…
All March long, through Q&A spotlights, weekly Instagram Live tastings, and donating 10% of our online sales to Women of the Vine, join us in celebrating and acknowledging some of the incredible female winemakers, winery owners, and professionals working in the industry today.
Blaine Ashley is the Founder of New York Champagne Week, which first debuted in November 2013. The week’s ethos is and has always been to promote the champagne category through a variety of creative events, pairing experiences, brand launches, new release reveals, interactive seminars and more. This effervescent week of events initially served as a vehicle to connect the champagne region and brands to prospective buyers and press. In the past two years, New York Champagne Week has broadened its audience to appeal to the champagne consumer.
In October 2018, Ashley launched a fresh, new platform – ‘The FIZZ is Female’ which shines a spotlight on leading ladies in the bubbly wine biz and celebrates sparkling wine made, owned and/or led by female powerhouses from around the world.
In 2016, Ashley’s focus on all things bubbly awarded her a nod in Wine Enthusiast magazine as a 40 under 40 Tastemaker where she was aptly dubbed ‘The Champagne Queen’.
Ashley hails from Honolulu, HI, and made the segue from fashion to the wine business ten years ago, first as a drinks scene and travel editor for both Modern Luxury and Haute Living magazines. Upon moving to New York City in 2010, Ashley created her own monthly column opportunities published in Tasting Panel and Destinations Travel called ‘Sipped ‘n Scene’ and ‘Jet Set Sip’ respectively.
When not living up to her nickname “Champagne Blaine” and consuming lots of champagne, Blaine is at the beach whenever possible surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming & dipping her toes in the sand, if she’s lucky with champagne in hand.
What is one piece of advice you give to women looking to make a career in wine?
Blaine: “To surround yourself with as many existing women wine professionals as possible. In the past couple of years, there’s been a big boost of women in wine banding together to help, inspire and empower each other.
What would you like to see happen to help get more women involved in the industry?
Blaine: “With forums like The FIZZ is Female, Wonder Women in Wine, Wine Unify, Black Wine Professionals & the most recently launched, Be the Change Job Fair, it’s happening!!
As a female in the wine industry, have you dealt with gender-related challenges?
Blaine: “Absolutely! I don’t know a woman in the wine industry that hasn’t experienced gender-related challenges.
Is there one woman, in the industry or outside of it, who has inspired you throughout your career?
Blaine: “Easy answer! Rita Jammet of La Caravelle Champagne. Rita is a true force in the champagne industry and F&B business. She’s held in such high regard and so well-liked and respected in the industry. She remains to be humble and one of the most generous, giving, loving, supportive women I’ve met no matter how big her brand or how bright her star shines.
Rita is not only an inspiration to me but I’m lucky enough to count her as a mentor and call her a dear friend.”
And Save The Date!
We are excited to put the much-deserved spotlight on some incredible female winemakers, winery owners, and professionals working in the industry today. Click here to meet them and learn more about their craft and the wines they produce.