In 2020, the first-ever gender equality study conducted by the Wonder Women of Wine and The Wine Nerd found nearly two out of three women think hiring in the wine industry is biased, with the same number estimating it will take 10+ years to reach equality in wine. These sobering statistics are part of the 2020 Gender Equality Study that looked at top issues impacting equity among men and women in the wine industry .
More recently in 2021, Mrs Jancis Robinson revealed that women today account for almost half of the wine students around the world (+10pts in the last 10 years) - a heart-warming increase leading us to hope that with future generations will come more diversity, creating a more and more inclusive industry.
However, Mrs Robinson nuanced that: “Sybille Troubleyn of WineWise, the leading wine educator in Belgium, is probably quite representative when she reports that there has definitely been more interest in wine education among women in the last 10 years. ‘An interesting thing is that we offer WSET at all levels in Belgium and we have more ladies in the lower levels (1 and 2), but the male students continue to the higher levels. Female students hesitate for Level 3 and definitely for level 4 Diploma they hesitate to start. Only a third of Diploma students in Belgium are female. Although once they go for it, they have good results and finish faster.’ It may well be that, as in so many other areas of life, many women are held back by the demands of family life and childcare.”
At Hambledon, we are committed towards gender parity. We want to do our part to make the industry more and more inclusive to female talents. With exactly 33% of our employees being women as we write - in all lines of work, from finance to marketing, events, sales or even winemaking - we know there is still room for improvement and we will work on it tirelessly. Please meet the Women of Hambledon.
This International Women's Day, we will be chatting with the woman behind everything at Hambledon Vineyard and an integral part of the day-to-day running of the vineyard, Owner, Anna Krits-Kellett.
Could you introduce yourself in a few words, Anna?
My husband and I run Hambledon Vineyard. I am also raising two daughters. I built my career in private equity real estate but have been educating myself about wine on the side-lines. My passion for wine was born while l was living in California where I learned that it may take a lifetime to be able to produce a spectacular bottle of wine. English sparkling wine is a fascinating growing industry, so I thought that now is a good time to make a switch and focus on our wine business.
What’s your relationship to wine in general? The decisions that led to you working in wine?
I now recognise how much work and craft is involved in making wine, so wine for me goes beyond consumption. I never stop learning about wine, so I never get bored of it. Therefore, this is one of those rare opportunities where one can be excited about work.
What is your favourite expression from the collection? Why?
Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rose. Normally not a rose drinker, my husband passed a challenge of making one that I would be proud of. I love a combination of powerful bouquet of strawberries and the toasty notes aromas. We were able to achieve a dry palate (which is important to me) and at the same time a deep flavour of red berries which are supported by a balanced acid. I find that this wine is very versatile - I enjoy it as an aperitif and also with many dishes.
What is your favourite, little-known story about Hambledon Vineyard?
Ian and I travelled to Burgundy in 2016 to purchase some wine for our home cellar. One day we were tasting the wines from Jerome Fornerot in St Aubin. Well, after the owner warmed up to us, we explained that we made wine in England. It was a bit unexpected to receive a very positive reaction from him and was even more surprising to see him jump in the air with excitement when the word Hambledon was mentioned. Then he ran out of his cellar…..and came back and revealed a picture of his grandfather sitting next to a bunch of baby vines. It transpired that his grandfather supplied vines to Hambledon Vineyard in the 1950’s and his father came to take part in a harvest. What are the odds?
What or who do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from ambitious and high achieving women in all industries and sport. I am raising two daughters and one day I hope that they will run Hambledon Vineyard. I want them to learn the value of hard work, never take shortcuts and be graceful to accept things that are not in your control.
What would be your advice to young women starting in the industry?
While building a career, you must build a good network. Get to know everyone in the industry nationally and even internationally. That way, your talent will be known beyond your employer. When you are starting out, a good network will provide vast opportunities and can even become a safety net when times are rough. When you get to a senior level, you will be able to instal your wisdom and inspire young talent.