Some moms like breakfast in bed on Mothers’ Day. Others prefer quiet time to themselves. But for these matriarchs, the ultimate gift is having daughters who work alongside them in the wine business. Whether working side-by-side to start a small business or heading their own departments at a major producer, these mother-daughter pairs are showing that wine is a family affair.
Pat Dudley and Mimi Casteel
Bethel Heights Vineyard and Hope Well Wine, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Deciding to leave academia to try their luck at winemaking, Pat Dudley and her husband, Ted Casteel, bought Bethel Heights in 1977 with their siblings and in-laws. As the family began clearing land and planting vines, daughter Mimi and her sister Jessie Casteel (along with cousins Ben and Jon), played on the grounds.
Mimi went on to study forestry, botany and ecology after college, and worked in the national forest system before returning home to help tend her family’s vineyard in Bethel Heights. After a decade, she moved a few miles away to start her own venture, Hope Well Wine, who produced their first vintage in 2015. She and her mom continue to work together with other local winemakers to protect the area’s natural resources.
Gwen and Brittny Hurt
Shoe Crazy Wine, Chesterfield, Virginia
The story of Shoe Crazy Wine sounds like something out of a movie. In 2013, two days after Gwen Hurt was laid off from her job as an information technology professional, she and her daughter Brittny suffered a terrible car accident. As both went through a year of physical therapy that would allow them to walk again, Gwen set her sights on pursuing a dream instead of just another office job. That dream was winemaking.
The mother and daughter went into business, naming the wine for Gwen’s other passion: shoes. Gwen works closely with vineyards in Bordeaux and California to custom-blend wines that are fun and approachable—and thanks to her hard work and positive spirit after the accident, can even do it in heels.
Barbara Banke and Katerine and Julia Jackson
Jackson Family Wines, Santa Rosa, California
Barbara Banke and Jess Jackson built an international wine empire while raising children. Today, Barbara is the chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, developing and promoting the company’s estates, particularly its luxury brands.
Katie and Julia grew up in and out of boardrooms and vineyards, and after youths spent working harvests, both decided to join the family business. Now, Katie spearheads sustainability initiatives and government relations, serving as an ambassador to educate the public about the company’s environmental efforts. Meanwhile, through her work in sales, Julia engages in communicating the company’s story and history and while helping guide her family’s legacy into the future.
Corinne Mentzelopoulos and Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos
Château Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Corinne Mentzelopoulous comes from a line of adventurers. Her grandfather helped build the American railways before returning to Greece and becoming a hotelier. Her father, André Mentzelopoulos, traveled extensively through Burma, China, India and Pakistan, exporting grain, before returning to Europe and purchasing a grocery chain. In 1977, at 62 years old, he decided to buy Château Margaux. Three years later, he died suddenly, and Corinne Mentzelopoulos stepped up with aplomb. During her tenure, the brand has added a third wine—Margaux de Château Margaux—and a new, Norman Foster-designed tasting room.
Daughter Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos carries her mother’s enterprising spirit, having opened Clarette wine bar in London. She is currently training with Corinne to one day helm the winery, with an eye toward sustainability and eco-friendliness.