Oeno Celebrates International Women’s Day


In honour of International Women’s Day it’s only right to celebrate some of Oeno’s female winemakers who are making their own mark on a competitive industry.

Hélène Seillan is the daughter of legendary winemaker Pierre Seillan who first came to California at the invitation of the late Jess Jackson. The pair set themselves the challenge of making a wine to rival the legendary Chateau Petrus. Vérité is now one of the most highly-rated wineries in the world with 12 perfect 100-point scores from Robert Parker, more than any other Sonoma County estate.

Hélène’s passion for wine was developed at an early age thanks to her father’s profession; “I was putting my finger in the glass and tasting wine from the time I was three or four,” says Hélène. Today Hélène’s responsibilities at Vérité as assistant winemaker are extensive with oversight of both the winery and vineyard. In 2013 Pierre challenged her to complete the final blends of Vérité’s three wines while he was away in France. The result was so perfect Pierre had no words.

Emma Gao is responsible for some of the finest wines coming out of China at her Silver Heights winery in Ningxia Province. Her father, Lin Gao, had long believed that Ningxia had the potential to be a world-class wine region and he persuaded his daughter, Emma, to study winemaking in Bordeaux. While there Emma interned at several top estates including Château Calon-Ségur where she fell in love with and married winemaker Thierry Courtade.

Shortly afterwards Emma returned home to her homeland to produce exceptional Bordeaux-style blends and single varietal wines. Over the years the project has grown dramatically from humble beginnings to become one of China’s most exciting boutique wineries. As well as being presented to Macron, their Family Reserve Chardonnay has also been served to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the 2014 vintage poured at a state dinner during her visit to China in 2016. 

Diana Salame is the talented consultant winemaker at Chateau Belle-Vue in Lebanon. After cutting her teeth in the family vineyards at an early age, Diana studied enology at the L’Institute Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin. She then worked at Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy, Boccard in Sardinia, and with Jeanjean in the Languedoc before moving to Chateau Belle-Vue in 2006. Her years of winemaking experience all over Europe helps Belle-Vue to craft some of Lebanon’s finest wines, including her technical expertise in using natural yeasts for fermentation.

Oeno is very proud to support these industry-leading female winemakers who are trailblazing a path for future generations of women in wine.

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