Meet 9 of the World's Top Women Vintners
Ntsiki Biyela, winemaker at Stelleyaka Winery, South Africa.
Nine of the world's top women vintners on the joys of family vineyards, why cheap wine is often the tastiest and a great hangover cure.Ntsiki Biyela
Winemaker at Stellekaya Winery, South Africa
Which of your wines means the most to you?
My grandmother tasted one of the first wines I ever made, and that remains my most special memory—the enjoyment wasn't just about the wine but the fact that she'd helped me achieve so much.
What's your motto?
I won't drink bad wine. If I open a bottle and I don't enjoy it, I don't finish it. And if you can't drink it, you can't cook with it.
Wine director at the Modern, New York City
What draws you to a wine?
I'm a fairy tale drinker. If I'm having a Spanish red, I remember my time in Spain eating at great tapas bars and dancing until 7 A.M. I see this tendency in women a lot. Whereas guys often look for the famous wine, or the ones with the knock-you-out alcohol, women look for a wine that evokes a place or has a great backstory.
Do you have a favorite hangover cure?
After a rough night, I start my day with sparkling water to hydrate, Diet Coke for caffeine, and then a Bloody Mary.
Director of winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley
Which wine are you proudest of producing?
When President Obama received the Nobel Prize, our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was served at the celebration dinner—and there's a picture of him toasting with it.
It's a Tuesday night—what's in your glass?
Pinot Noir—it's so easy to drink, and it goes well with lots of foods.