Women in Wine Spotlight: Tessa Perliss

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.


Meet Tessa, Producer, Wingspan

Tessa Perliss, Producer, WINGSPAN Wines

 

What is one piece of advice you give to women looking to make a career in wine?

Tessa: “To start, I think you need to be completely committed and passionate about wine.  There are many different facets to efficiently running a business, telling a compelling story, and being able to execute your vision.  It’s truly a labor of love and wine doesn’t exactly sell itself anymore.  I also think the experience and memories you’re able to create for your guests are what make the lasting connections and bonds to that brand.  Lots of patience and humility are also key — it takes a long time to really gain traction and cultivate a following, not to mention being in a farming industry where we are of course at the whim of nature and all of her challenges.”


What would you like to see happen to help get more women involved in the wine industry?

Tessa: “There are so many amazing women in wine and I feel like now especially, their voices and visions are being heard and widely admired. Bâttonage is an awesome resource as both a mentorship program and a platform for women in the industry to support each other and discuss a wide range of relevant issues.”


As a female in the wine industry, have you dealt with gender-related challenges?

Tessa: “I think most women experience ingrained gender-related challenges in everyday life and in most spheres of industry, especially ones that are typically male-dominated. Napa Valley has so many incredible female winemakers and leaders in the industry, where the role of gender seems to have less importance, and they work alongside other powerhouses of the Valley without question. Personally, I have felt very included at the table and supported by many of the incredible women in the realm. I’ve always been struck by how helpful and collaborative our community is in such a competitive world.”


Is there one woman, in the industry or outside of it, who has inspired you throughout your career?

Tessa: “Maya Dalla Valle inspires me because of her tireless work ethic, humility, and experience. She honors the past and the rich history of her family’s estate while also bringing innovative, regenerative, and biodynamic farming practices. She isn’t scared to get her hands dirty or hop on an ATV and can easily switch gears to command a room with elegance and poise. Maya and her mother, Naoko, epitomize strong female leaders who have dedicated themselves to creating an iconic brand with absolutely beautiful wines while also giving back and engaging with our community in a meaningful way.”

 

Tessa Perliss - Wingspan Wine and Gabriel-Glas

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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.

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