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Q & A with Deborah Brenner

After more than 20 years in the male-dominated field of high tech and owning a marketing and public relations firm, Deborah Brenner realized, during a fortuitous trip to Napa and Sonoma, how many women in the wine industry — like her own — were under-recognized. Compelled to relate their stories, she authored a bestselling collection of profiles, “Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine.” Brenner then became inspired to enter the business herself, releasing Women of the Vine wine brand, produced by a collective of seven women winemakers from Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles. After seven years, however, she stopped production, searching for another avenue to foster women. One year later, Brenner organized the inaugural Women of the Vine Global & Spirits Global Symposium, held in March of 2015 and sold out to 500 women from five countries. After the overwhelming response, Brenner and the advisory board developed a membership-based organization of the same name, anchored by the annual conference. Brenner has received several awards for her efforts in fostering women, including a Rising Star Award from Women for WineSense (2008), the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award Person of the Year Nominee (2017) and many others.



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