Kari Smasne - Ste Michelle

The Women Behind Some of Washington’s Best Grapevines

Wine Enthusiast by Sean Sullivan
November 18, 2019

While women are underrepresented in the winemaking ranks in Washington, the country’s second-largest wine-producing state, the story is quite different when it comes to its vineyards. Women manage some of Washington’s premier sites, where they oversee the production of grapes that go to hundreds of wineries. Their shared experience and passion for grape growing bind them together.

“There’s definitely a sisterhood in Washington between the ladies who manage different vineyards,” says Lacey Lybeck, vineyard manager at Sagemoor Vineyards in the Columbia Valley. “It’s fun to see [them] all producing phenomenal, premium Washington wines.”

Here are five female vineyard managers who impact the way Washington grapes are grown.

Kari Smasne, Canoe Ridge Estate, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

In her youth in Sunnyside, Washington, Kari Smasne was surrounded by fields of alfalfa and asparagus, along with apple and cherry orchards.

“It just made me love the outdoors,” says Smasne.

An online evaluation in high school pointed her toward a career in agriculture. At college, Smasne studied agriculture economics, and she then moved to Seattle to work in a grocery store as an assistant produce manager. There, friends introduced her to wine.

Read the entire article featuring more women in wine on Wine Enthusiast.

Photo: Kari Smasne of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates/Photo by Shelly Waldman

 

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