Winemakers Women in Wine, PT 1

Cellar Talk with Jacqueline Bahue

In honor of Women’s History Month, get to know Sonoma winemaker Jacqueline Bahue. Interview by Elizabeth Smith. Photography by Mike Battey.

Honoring Women in Wine:
Bahue on being a mom, business owner, and winemaker

Interviewed by Elizabeth Smith 

“I love having a dynamic career.”

1. How did you get your start in wine?

I was a freshman in college at the University of California at Davis and transferred to the Viticulture and Enology department my first year.

The following summer at age 19, I began my first job and was hooked. I started working abroad, taking jobs in Italy, Spain, and New Zealand. I returned to California, where I discovered Naked Wines.

2. Where are you in your career now?

I’ve been making wines for Naked Angels since 2012, almost 10 years! I love having a dynamic career. I am outside in the vineyard one day, working in the cellar the next, at a computer the next, then tasting, etc. Winemaking is a marriage of art and science. I’ve grown my portfolio from a handful of wines to three tiers of wines and I have over 24k followers! I’ll also be launching a new sparkling wine for Naked next year.

3. How do Naked Angels empower you as a winemaker?

The Angels have watched and helped me through so many milestones in my life and career. I bought a house, got married, had two kids, and started a sparkling wine business with my husband. The Angels give me the flexibility to be a mom, business owner, and winemaker at the same time.

4. What’s a BIG lesson you’ve learned along the way?

Go with the flow. Things don’t always go the way you expect, but there are always more opportunities around the corner. Show up, be consistent, and learn from your mistakes! 

5. What’s the message you have for other women winemakers?

Follow your heart. Work hard. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to take someone out to lunch who is further in their career. They’ll be flattered and you’ll learn a thing or two. At the very least, you’ll make a new friend.

6. What is your big hope for women in wine in the future?

I love the camaraderie and support among women and the wine world community across all specialties – winemaking, marketing, sales, finance, etc.

Lastly – is there a women’s empowerment organization or cause you support or would like to?

I love what Naked Wines has done for me. I’d love if they could offer a round of funding for a woman who is new to the industry so she can launch her first wine.

Left to right: Naked Winemakers Karen Birmingham, Ana Diogo-Draper, Camille Benitah, Jacqueline Bahue, Ondine Chattan, Anne Dashe, Nova Cadamatre and Alex Farber. Photographed by Mike Battey.

Follow Jacqueline Bahue on Naked Wines

Elizabeth Smith is a freelance wine, food, and travel journalist as well as a communications and social media specialist based in the Napa Valley.

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Steve Branch
Steve Branch
3 years ago

Dear Jacqueline,
I became a Naked Wines angel when my wife and I moved to Ohio in 2019. I quickly had more wine than I have ever had before in my life, 7 cases. Well, now I’m back down to two plus one case of zinfandel that I hope to save for about a decade.
I have tried several of your wines, your cabernet francs, and pinot noirs. I have never tried alberino, but I look forward to it.
You are a really fine winemaker. You should be proud of your science/art.

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