Ladies First: Winemaker Gloria Collell Talks Mia Wines

    Gloria Collell

    Gloria Collell doesn’t consider herself a pioneer in the field of winemaking. The 45-year-old Spainiard has been a fixture at notable winemakers Ferrer and Freixenet for more than 20 years but she’s humble, even as she launches her own label in the U.S., Mia.

    “I just love what I’m doing,” she said, explaining the wine industry is in her blood. Her grandfather made casks and her father sold wine.

    “It was so common in my life that I decided to study to be a lawyer,” she said. “After a year at university, I decided I didn't want to do that.”

    Collell worked with her father for a few years and then formally trained to be a winemaker. While working for Freixenet, maker of the Spanish cava famously sold in black bottles, she had the idea of making easy drinking, still wines. To her surprise, Freixenet agreed. And told her to get to it. After spending a year traveling and talking to winemakers and wine drinkers, Mia Wines launched in 2011 in Europe. Still, it wasn't without sacrifice. 

    Initially, Collell (whose face is on the wine label) found the project daunting, especially because it involved “a lot of sacrifice personally, a lot of traveling.” But after discussing the project with her husband and two children, she jumped in. Now, the wine is available in 44 countries including China, Uganda, and Korea.

    So what's everyone drinking? The label currently has five wines in the Mia collection, all of which exclusively use Spanish grapes, and all priced between $10 and $12 a bottle. Pick a bottle of white when you're serving seafood and a bottle of read for summer BBQs. Collell also recommends pairing the rośe with spicy foods like Mexican, Asian or Thai, saying the wine’s “sweetness and acidity clean up your palate.’” And when it’s time for dessert, try one of the sweet Mia moscatos.

    What’s next for this female winemaker? New wine projects, Collell says. But after years developing and promoting the Mia wines, she may take a vacation first.

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    These winemaking women are stirring things up in a male-dominated field.