Passionate Women of the Vine

Originally published in Kalon Magazine for Women, November 2012. The world of wine is scant on women in executive roles. In producing wine documen­tary films, it is incumbent upon my daughter, who orchestrates these tasks for our business, to find equal representation – or her mother will read her The Feminine Mystique chapter and – until the cows come home. For our current production she succeeds, par excellence. Where I live distinguishes itself in many ways, none the least being the gateway to California wine country. We are adjacent to the American Viticultural Area or AVA, (wine lingo for a particular region) known as Carneros, which interestingly sits in both Sonoma and Napa counties. Ameila Ceja is the president of Ceja Vineyards located in this prime locale. Kathryn Hall”s acreage sits in the equally prestigious Napa Valley, known as Hall Winery. Their worlds” reflect some differences but in essence, abundant similarities, the kind that unite women everywhere, that common thread being communication,  dedication and relentless multitasking, It is also reflected in their passion for wine. Amelia”s vineyards are situated on the valley floor while Kathryn”s are on the slopes. Amelia is a brunette; Kathryn is a blond. Amelia came here from Mexico, Kathryn from Mendocino. Amelia”s eyes are each pursuing its own objectives. dark and Kathryn”s are light, but both sparkle with that kind of inner happiness earned by effort.  Both have picked grapes. Amelia was brought here  a Mexican Immigrant to do just that; Kathryn worked at her family vineyards in the Redwood valley. Both work with their husbands but haw also achieved amazing things on their own. Nothing was handed to either of them. Kathryn became a lawyer, an activist for women, a corporate leader and the United States Ambassador to Austria. Amelia went from migrant worker to college graduate and renown chef and vintner. In this capacity she, like Kathryn, is an ambassador of all things good and gracious about food and family, friends and cultures, blending In harmony. Both love and collect art, and likewise see the creation of a fine wine as an artistic endeavor to be appreciated and enjoyed. Both understand the glass ceiling wall but chose to shatter it long ago. This accomplishment is what Interests me moat about them. I have the utmost respect for women who don”t buy into the negative, sometimes reverse stereotyping rhetoric. They just keep achieving things, making it look both effortless and fun.     That”s the crux of it: they are enjoying their lives. They have found balance between the tannins and acids and the fruit and the flavors. They have as many ups and downs as any other woman, but they choose a different route when the noise gets too loud. They quiet down to their core and look to nature, the mother of us all, because it is all around them. Both know how blessed they are for their lives and their land. You can learn more about these women, their philosophies and their wines at

Christine Scioli – A graduate of St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, Pa. with a BA in English, Ms. Scioli worked as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill, received her Juris Doctor from Delaware Law School and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar. She has written and produced a wide gamut of creative projects including educational, training, promotional and marketing videos, hundreds of television commercials, television series, feature films and documentaries through her film and video production company Zan Media, one of the few certified “green” production companies of its type. Web Address: