Learn More About Our Journey
Women for WineSense is the premier wine education and networking organization for wine industry professionals and wine aficionados. We believe that wine enhances and enriches everyday life and our goal is to promote the appreciation and responsible enjoyment of wine. With that in mind, we support the success and professional development of women and men in wine and associated industries. WWS is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization.
Our founders, Michaela Rodeno and Julie Johnson, were and still are leaders in the wine industry. Back in 1990 their children asked them why they were “making drugs.” Outraged that their children were not receiving balanced information, they formed Women for WineSense to discuss moderate wine consumption, its benefits in a healthy lifestyle, and the need for balanced information in warning labels on wine bottles. “Xeroxing” hundreds of pages, a small WWS army began its quest to defend wine. Joining Michaela and Julie were industry icons like Margaret Duckhorn, Rosemary Cakebread, Kit Wall, Lynne Carmichael, Dawnine Dyer, Zelma Long, Lili Thomas, Annette Shafer, Susan Sokol-Blosser, Gabrielle Saylor, Cathy Clifton, Margrit Mondavi, and many more.
Michaela writes in her book, From Bubbles to Boardrooms, “Legislators in Sacramento and Washington were eager to meet with us. The media wanted to hear more. I have never felt or seen such energy in my life, before or after, the early days of Women for WineSense.” Congress declared American Wine Appreciation Week in April 1993. Having achieved their initial mission, the WWS members decided in 1994 during a strategic planning meeting facilitated by Karen Jess-Lindsley and Linda Cyrog to continue the organization as a forum for wine education and relationship building.