Industry Icon Zelma Long Is Passionate About Hiring And Mentoring Women

Posted: Feb 12, 2020

One of best-known winemakers in the world, Long has been an icon of the vine and inspiration to many for decades. This pioneer in the California wine scene was one of the first women to study oenology and viticulture at University of California, Davis, in the late 1960s.

Her winemaking career started at Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley, where she worked for a decade and rose through the ranks to become the winery’s chief enologist.

In 1979, Long was recruited as winemaker for Simi Winery in Sonoma County. During her 18-year tenure, she became president and CEO of the winery, which made her the first woman to assume senior management of a California winery.

In 1997, Long established Vilafonté winery in South Africa, where she focuses on high-quality Bordeaux-style red blends. She has also consulted for numerous wineries worldwide, including in France and Israel, and founded and was the first president of the nonprofit American Vineyard Foundation (AVF).

By Lauren Buzzeo
February 12, 2020
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