Meet Five Women Who Are Changing the World of Winemaking in Bordeaux
Though it’s been long considered the most traditional, expensive, and male-dominated French wine region, these rising female wine stars Bordeaux explain how things are changing.
By Sarah Tracey
February 12, 2020
Bordeaux: It’s one of the most historic, beautiful, and traditional wine regions in the world. There, châteaux dot the countryside surrounding the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, and the famed vintage wines from the area can command staggering prices at auction around the world. But there’s another side to Bordeaux that is just beginning to come into the spotlight—it’s a world of small family farms (some châteaux, too!) and easy-drinking, affordable, and approachable wines. While the vintage wine market focuses on reds from Bordeaux, more white wine is actually produced in the region. There’s also a growing focus on sustainability, and it’s a group of young French women who are leading the way.
Here, we profile some of the rising female wine stars of Bordeaux, learning about their work, challenges, and inspirations.
Lucie Secret, Château du Moulin Rouge
Lucie Secret grew up on her family’s property, Château du Moulin Rouge, and her parents tell the story that from the moment she learned to walk, she was picking grapes by hand and filling her tiny toy basket. She has is an agricultural engineer, has an advanced vocational diploma in viticulture and oenology, and a degree in wine law and wine sales. And she is passionate about the environment: “Our winery is eco-friendly. In 2018, we obtained an environmental certification called HVE 3 (High Environmental Value). We have adapted the work on the farm in order to minimize its impact on the environment. We do not use herbicides, we work our soils with suitable equipment. Seventy one percent of the products used in the vineyard are organic. Our goal is to increase this figure.”
Secret is quick to dispel the idea that Bordeaux is a man’s world: “My mother is a winegrower, a grandmother was a winegrower, and my great grandmother was a winegrower. I grew up on a farm where women were very present and worked with their husbands. I never knew this feeling of limit.” And the future is bright; she says more women are applying for internships and entry-level roles than ever before.