Watch the paths of these three dynamic women – Gayle Glomski, Bree Nation and Lauren Maldonado – as they highlight the vitality and feminine strength in the world of wine, especially Arizona wine.
The idea for Vin de Filles (Girls’ wine in French) came to Gayle Glomski during a harvest she managed at Page Springs Cellars in Cornville, Arizona, about 90 minutes north of Phoenix in the Verde Valley, where most of the workers had been women. Gayle mentioned her idea to Bree Nation and Lauren Maldonado, also working at Page Springs Cellars, and the three collaborated on a mission statement for the project: a wine produced by women to highlight the vitality and feminine strength within the world of wine.
Bree had the idea to involve the community and give back to a non-profit organization. The Verde Valley Sanctuary, which provides shelter and support to women who have survived domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, was a natural choice—women supporting women.
Launched in January 2020, Vin de Filles’ first step was to prune select vines at Page Springs Cellars. The vines were cared for by this team of women and volunteers throughout the seasons, culminating in the harvest in August 2020. This first vintage of co-fermented Malvasia Bianca and Syrah 525 will be released in the fall of 2021.
Gayle’s journey into the wine industry started with her husband Eric’s launch of Page Spring Cellars in 2003. The following year she helped plant the vineyard. While dating, Eric gave her a bottle of wine he made previously in California.
Her reaction: "Wow. This is the best wine I have ever had in my life!" Eric became instrumental in teaching Gayle about the union of food and wine. "That was pretty exciting to me," she says.
In addition to her vineyard work, Gayle is a massage therapist and yoga teacher, and she continues to manage these programs at Page Springs Cellars. She also teaches hoop dancing classes, and has her own product line called "Second Harvest." In tune with the eco-friendly and sustainable environment at Page Springs Cellars, Gayle re-purposes the skins and seeds from the pressed grapes and makes products including body butter, lip butter, and an edible powder—all part of the Second Harvest line.
Bree Nation is currently the Cellar Master at Page Springs Cellars and co-owner of Oddity Wine Collective. Her pathway into wine started while she was a student at Arizona State University (ASU) and worked as a server at nearby restaurants where she started understanding the balance of food and wine. After getting her bachelor’s degree in sustainability, she started working in wine at Alcantara Vineyard’s tasting room in Camp Verde in 2012. At the same time, she attended Yavapai Community College and earned an associate’s degree in viticulture and enology.
Bree’s next step in her career was at Arizona Stronghold’s tasting room, in Cottonwood, where she worked her way up to wine club manager. She was drawn to the winemaking side of the business and transitioned into the cellar in 2017. In May of 2019, she took her current position of Cellar Master at Page Springs Cellars.
She says, “I continuously found myself surrounded by the right people, at the right places, at the right time, and I was in a prime situation to learn and be mentored by the community around me.”
Lauren Maldonado is the co-owner of The Art of Wine in Sedona. Her path into wine started when she moved to Sedona in 2012 and took a job at a tasting room. “The more I learned about the Arizona wine industry, the more passionate I became”, says Lauren. Eager to increase her knowledge in wine, Lauren began working at Page Springs Cellars in 2013. She joined the vineyard crew and helped farm their vineyards for four years as the only female on the crew.
Lauren’s independent studies for Level 1 with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2018 helped propel her knowledge of wine even further. An opportunity then arose for her to share the process of the grape from vine to bottle by becoming a tour guide. Lauren began guiding tours at Page Springs Cellars before becoming the tour's manager. She recently made an important change in her career by leaving Page Springs Cellars to focus on her boutique wine bar and her family.
One of Arizona’s fastest-growing emerging wineries is Los Milics Vineyards.
About the Author
Jenelle’s true passion is photographing and documenting the beauty of Arizona’s vineyards and the stories behind the wine industry. She recently published a coffee-table book, AZ Uncorked, The Arizona Wine Guide. Her photography has appeared in numerous regional and national publications. Read more on arizonawineguide.com
The book AZ Uncorked, The Arizona Wine Guide, is available at: arizonawineguide.com