Say It With Bottles

Say It With Bottles

Trying to figure out the perfect gift for Mother’s Day can be arduous. That’s why winemakers and winery owners have turned to a unique gift option: naming a wine, or even an entire label, after their mother dearests. Here are a few wines that took their inspiration from female progenitors:

Elderton Ode to Lorraine: When Lorraine Ashmead, founder of Elderton in Australia’s Barossa Valley, had a significant birthday in 2002, her sons, Cameron and Allister, wanted to throw her a birthday party. Lorraine wouldn’t hear of it and planned a trip to New York instead. In the meantime, her boys, now running the winery alongside her, changed the name of their highly regarded CSM (for Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot) to Ode to Lorraine. At her birthday dinner at New York’s Le Bernardin, a very surprised Mrs. Ashmead was presented with a bottle of wine bearing the new label, with her name prominently featured.

Warwick Estate The First Lady: No, it’s not named for Michelle Obama. Warwick’s Mike Ratcliffe created this Cabernet Sauvignon as a tribute to his mother, Norma Ratcliffe, who is one of a handful of female winemakers in South Africa and was the first female member of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild. After she and her husband Stan purchased the Warwick Estate in 1964, Norma went to Bordeaux to study winemaking. She still remains involved in every aspect of their Stellenbosch operation, from viticulture to taking charge of visitor tastings and tours.

Hardys Eileen Hardy: Eileen Hardy, the grandmother of current Hardy’s Brand Ambassador (and fifth-generation family member) Bill Hardy, was 45 years old when her husband, Thomas Mayfield Hardy, was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1938. Mrs. Hardy remained an integral part of the company, driving change through a difficult period in the winery’s history. She was awarded with the Order of the British Empire in 1976 for her service to the Australian wine industry—the first woman to be so honored. She has been called the “great-grandmother of Australian wine,” and was photographed by Lord Snowdon for Australian Vogue in 1977. To hear her grandson tell it, the accolade that pleased her most was the release of Eileen Hardy Shiraz in 1973, which has since been followed by Eileen Hardy Pinot Noir and Eileen Hardy Chardonnay.

Ziata Wines: This is a diminutive of Annunziata, the middle name of Karen Cakebread’s mother, Mary Annunziata Wells, which is also the first name of her great-grandmother. Ziata Wines were originally launched for Mother’s Day in 2009. The limited production Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Carneros Pinot Noir are a collaboration between Cakebread (formerly of Napa Valley’s Cakebread Cellars) and winemaker Anne Vawter, which makes them the only wines on the list made by two women and named for two women.

Caduceus Nagual del Judith: Maynard James Keenan, better known as the lead singer of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, is also the owner of Arizona’s Caduceus Cellars. His Nagual del Judith is an ode to his late mother, who died in 2003 at the age of 59. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Keenan’s northern Arizona vineyard, where he spread his mother’s ashes after her cremation. With the wine’s first release in 2009, Keenan stated that the “vines and wines are her resurrection and her wings.”

Published on May 6, 2011