A delegation of some of the leading female winemakers from the Napa Valley are visiting Bordeaux for conferences, tastings, chateaux visits and ideas exchange.

Around 15 Californian winemakers – including Ursula Hermacinski from Screaming Eagle, Beth Milliken from Spottswoode and Pam Starr from Crocker & Starr – are being hosted by Bordeaux women winemakers such as Paz Espejo from Cordier wine merchants and Sandrine Garbay from Chateau d’Yquem.

Pam Starr told decanter.com, ‘There is a great dynamic between our two regions, and plenty of exchange possibilities.

‘Napa can learn a lot about product trust and recognition from Bordeaux, and about the understanding of terroir. And we can bring innovative strategies, and an understanding of what our markets require.’

Some aspects of the Bordeaux system were difficult to understand, she said. ‘It seems to me that producers need to know much more about the final placing of their brand.

‘They need to get in the game, to know where their own product belongs, not what their broker tells them.’

Sharon Harris of Napa’s Amici Cellars winery, one of the original organisers of the event, said, ‘We would like to develop partnerships between the two regions, specifically over issues such as brand name and appellation protection.’

Bordeaux in turn has been energised by ideas from Napa. ‘We can be perhaps too traditional, said Arnelle Falcy-Cruse, owner of Bordeaux’s Chateau de Taillan.

‘It was very interesting to see how surprised the Napa women were by the fact we don’t sell our wines directly via the internet.’

This is the second year of the exchange. Many of the Bordeaux women visited Napa last year.

Written by Jane Anson