Recognized every year on March 8, International Women’s Day honors the contributions and achievements of women in our world. The 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge, highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change…
All March long, through Q&A spotlights, weekly Instagram Live tastings, and donating 10% of our online sales to Women of the Vine, join us in celebrating and acknowledging some of the incredible female winemakers, winery owners, and professionals working in the industry today.
Meet Tempe, the CEO of Gabriel-Glas North America LLC:
Tempe Reichardt has enjoyed a colorful career as an international entrepreneur and has had the pleasure of establishing luxury wine and wine-related products in global markets. While living in Europe and managing her wine business based there, Tempe developed a professional and collegial relationship with René.
After Tempe sold her European-based business and she returned to California, René asked her to collaborate with him in establishing Gabriel-Glas North America LLC. She jumped at the opportunity to form a company that is the exclusive importer of the stunning “One for All” lead-free crystal wine glass produced by Gabriel-Glas of Austria.
As CEO, Tempe proudly manages all aspects of North American business development for the highly regarded “One for All” Gabriel-Glas. She lives in Napa, California, and enjoys drinking the wine of the world from Gabriel-Glas. (She even enjoys drinking a cocktail or two from Gabriel-Glas!)
What is one piece of advice you give to women looking to make a career in wine?
Tempe: “My response to this question is the same as it would be for any woman looking to make a career in wine or any other profession. It’s a man’s world — despite all our efforts to effect change — so women need to be strong, stay strong and be prepared to work harder and smarter than men do.”
What would you like to see happen to help get more women involved in the industry?
Tempe: “I’m answering this question from the perspective of a serial entrepreneur in the wine industry: I’d like to see more women in senior management and/or ownership positions in the wine industry. Generally speaking, women recognize the strengths that women bring to the workforce, so having more women in decision-making positions in the industry would pave the way for other women to be hired on all levels of the trade.”
As a female in the wine industry, have you dealt with gender-related challenges?
Tempe: “The sad answer to this question is yes. I’m dating myself here, but in 1990 I started my entrepreneurial future in the wine industry and established a business to export premium and super-premium California wine to Europe. As a young, single woman, I packed my bags, moved to Antwerp, Belgium, and tenaciously built a multi-million dollar sales organization selling great wine to European importers. I often faced chauvinism. I was a young American woman, selling expensive California wine to importers who, in some cases, had to be convinced that California even made wine! Just getting my foot in the door with the “old guard” importers was a challenge. Nevertheless, I overcame most of the hurdles by being strong, staying strong, and working harder and smarter than many men do!”
Is there one woman, in the industry or outside of it, who has inspired you throughout your career?
Tempe: “There are so many women throughout history who have inspired me, both in the wine industry and outside of it, so this is difficult to answer. But I can definitely say that, amongst others, I greatly admired Margrit Biever Mondavi, Robert Mondavi’s charming, now deceased wife. I first met Margrit around 1988 during a small lunch gathering at Etiole, the fantastic restaurant that used to be housed at Domaine Chandon. Margrit was warm, worldly, gracious. Over the years, at many California wine events abroad, my paths crossed with the Mondavi’s. In my view, Margrit was an unbelievable ambassador for California. She—along with Robert—brought a deeply personal and human touch to their work. Margrit, along with so many women pioneers in the industry, was a great role model, and her contribution to the wine industry and to culture in Napa—and beyond—carry on to this day.”
We are excited to put the much-deserved spotlight on these incredible female winemakers, winery owners, and professionals working in the industry today. Click here to meet them and learn more about their craft and the wines they produce.