Women Wine Makers: Interview with Gloria Collell
The first time we meet Gloria is in the 11th century cellars of Segura Vuidas in the heart of Spain's Catalonian wine region.
Already we are seething with jealousy at this woman who not only manages to work in one of the most beautiful regions in the world but also tastes and makes some of the most well-known wine in Spain.
But life wasn't always vines and good wine as Gloria first started training as a lawyer. But it wasn't to be. She says: "Soon found I didn’t like being trapped in an office! It just wasn't for me."
She quit her training and with the support of her father she started studying to be an oenologist and soon began travelling the globe learning the expertise of the wine world and instantly knew it was the job for her.
"Wine industry people have a certain special something – an openness, a lust for life, a love of good food and conversation - and they treat you like a part of their family," says Gloria.
It was at Freixenet, Spain's largest winemakers and a world renowned brand, that she found her feet.
"All the winemakers at Freixenet are passionate with a lust for life – I think I am like that too."
Freixent is a family run empire that has always been a little different. Founded by a husband and wife team, it was Delores Sala Vivé who took over the business after her husbands death and made the brand into what it is today.
"She was an exceptional woman for her time, on the death of Pedro Ferrer, Delores took over as president, and it’s still a family run company."
"Mia is ‘mine’! I wanted to create a wine to be enjoyed while relaxing with friends, a stylish modern wine I and my friends would like to drink - and the Ferrer family were very much behind me when I suggested Mia."
"Although wine making is traditionally a man’s game, an increasing number of women are involved and are rising to the top of the industry.
They are becoming winery owners, sommeliers, writers, educators, winemakers and vineyard managers. Freixenet is an innovator, so in the company it doesn’t matter what tradition dictates!"
As you sit at your desk staring at the screen all day, sometimes it's worth remembering that a job does not dictate a desk, it does not dictate a nine-to-five existance, nor does it dictate doing something you are supposed to in the place of something that you love.
If there is one thing we can learn from Gloria is that following your heart really does pay off.