March is Women’s History Month, and March 8th marks International Women’s Day. During this month and beyond, it is important to recognize women’s growth and achievement in the wine industry worldwide. Women of the wine industry are bold and fearless leaders – Making up only 16% of all Master Sommeliers in America. Navigating the world of wine as a female sommelier is not for the faint of heart. With camaraderie and encouragement, the number of women in the male-dominated industry is on the rise. Here at Benchmark Wine Group, we are proud to have worked with some of these outstanding women.
In honor of women in the wine industry, we’ve highlighted a few of our featured sommeliers on The Somm Set and given a breakdown of some of their favorite wines!
Sommelier and Wine Director, Tonya Pitts, has been in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years and was featured on The Somm Set during December 2020. She is known globally as a multi-talented wine professional, an industry changemaker, and a compassionate role model. Her career began in St. Louis, Missouri as a host during college. Eventually, her fine art studies relocated her to San Francisco, taking her first job with Chef Judy Rodgers at Zuni Cafe and Chef Jeremiah Tower at Stars Restaurant. Soon after, Tonya was running the wine program for Loretta Keller at Bizou Restaurant. It was with Loretta Keller that Tonya realized her true passion for wine. She has been featured in and a judge for Wine & Spirits magazine, Tasting Panel, and numerous news and industry publications throughout her career.
Additionally, Tonya judges for the San Francisco International Wine Competition and continues her wine studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers. You can find Tonya working the dining room floor most nights at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco. Click here to read more on Tonya Pitts!
- Tonya Pitt’s Secret Stash
- Mature Wines
- Old & New World Wines
- Tonya On Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
- Fantesca Estate & Winery | Raid Y(our) Cellar
- Charles Heidsieck Champagne | Raid Y(our) Cellar
- United Sommelier Foundation Board | Raid Y(our) Cellar
Jodi Bronchtein, Advanced Sommelier’s journey began somewhere between figuring out how wine worked with food while working at a fine dining restaurant, McCrady’s in Charleston, SC, and a magical aha-moment with a bottle of 2001 Chateau Musar. Nowadays, Jodi spends her time exploring Napa’s best wineries (120 and counting) and working the floor at PRESS Napa Valley! Jodi was featured throughout September & October 2020 on The Somm Set.
- White Wine & Food
- Syrah & Musical Pairings
- Under The Rada Napa Bangers
- Guado al Tasso/Antica Napa Valley | Raid Y(our) Cellar
- Staglin Family Vineyard, Le Artishasic & Resa | Raid Y(our) Cellar
- Vine Hill Ranch | Raid Y(our) Cellar
We have been honored to work with these incredible women on The Somm Set and thank them for their unique insights. Stay tuned throughout 2021- we have some incredible women on our lineup! Click here to subscribe to The Somm Set!
Want to learn more about women in the wine industry? Click here to read our blog post on women-operated wineries & winemakers!
Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants, and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. Benchmarkwine.com offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.