Uncle Nearest celebrates the forgotten legacy of Nathan Green and offers true Tennessee Whiskey. Fawn Weaver was inspired by the newfound tale of the first African-American distiller; she bought the legendary farm and built a distillery nearby.
Read more about the first-known African-American distiller Nathan “Nearest
” Green, and how Fawn Weaver kept his legacy alive
2. Nonino - Nonino sisters
Oh... did we not mention it is run by three women
? Antonella, Elisabetta, and Cristina Nonino are guiding the company into the 21st century with modern marketing and artisanal equipment and procedures.
They’re responsible for some of the most important innovations in the Grappa industry, almost single-handedly revolutionizing a once poor-man's leftovers into a delicacy of the highest order. And—even rarer today—this producer is still family-owned and operated.
Learn about the family's illustrious history and all the creative things they're working on today in this interview with Antonella Nonino
3. SIA Scotch Whisky - Carin Luna-Ostaseski
Carin Luna-Ostaseski was a web designer who was introduced to Whisky and fell for it hard. So, she trained as a bartender, interviewed experts, and set her mind to creating her own brand.
What does the modern, internet-savvy entrepreneur do to address such an expensive and risky proposition? That’s right… she launched a Kickstarter campaign
in 2012, raising more than $45,000
to launch her dream. SIA Scotch Whisky
was born as a perfect analogy for craft Whisky production
in the modern era.
SIA — pronounced "see-ya" — means "six" is Scottish Gaelic. So, why did Carin name her Whisky Sia? Because it is her favorite number, that’s why.
4. Catoctin Creek - Becky Harris
Becky Harris is the co-founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling
, the first legal distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia since Prohibition, making Becky the county's first female chief distiller
in almost a century.
Before opening the distillery, Becky was a chemical engineer, and her husband Scott worked in software. It was Becky’s passion for the fermentation and distillation process that brought this couple out of corporate American and into your liquor cabinet.
From their little distillery by the creek, they produce a range of ten Spirits
, including Rye Whiskies
, and a handful of other drams.
5. Hardy - Benedicte Hardy
If you are not yet familiar with the woman who walked away from a career as a maritime lawyer
to head up Cognac powerhouse Hardy
, meet the Queen of Eau de Vie.
With five generations of Cognac makers
coursing through her blood, it’s safe to say she knows her stuff.
6. Brenne - Allison Park
Allison Park owner and founder of Brenne Whisky
is a former Prima Ballerina with a love of Whisky.
In 2012 she launched Brenne in New York, in collaboration with a third-generation French master distiller in Cognac, who was trained in the traditional art of Cognac distillation, but harbored a secret love for Whisky. By respecting tradition and adding a little innovation into the distilling method, Brenne was born.
She created the world’s first Single Malt
to be aged exclusively in both new French Limousin oak and Cognac casks, and her journey from the “barre
” to the “bar
” is as unique
as her Whisky.
7. Crooked Water Spirits - Heather Manley
Heather Manley is the sole owner
of Minnesota-based micro-distillery Crooked Water Spirits
, which was the first Spirits company to be certified
as woman-owned by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
Manley started the company in 2013
after noting the significant quality difference between micro- and macro-distilled Spirits.
She is among the small group of certified female Whisky sommeliers.
8. Virginia Distillery Company - Angela Moore
Angela Moore, owner and chairwoman of the board
at Virginia Distillery Company
was greatly influenced by her husband to enter the Spirit industry.
The late Dr. George G. Moore was a native Irishman, living in his adopted home Virginia with a passion for distilling with a vision of creating a unique, quality hand-crafted American Whiskey. In 2011, after her husband founded the distillery, Moore decided she wanted in, too.
After all, as an immigrant from Northern Ireland, Whiskey has always been in her blood
. She carries George’s legacy forward by reinventing
American Single Malt Whisky.
Every barrel is a culmination of the world’s finest distilling,
aged to perfection in the ideal climate of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
9. Rabbit Hole - Heather Bass
Heather Bass started enjoying Bourbon in college. Years later, she deepened her appreciation for the Spirit
itself and opened Rabbit Hole Distillery
with her husband, luring him away from his beloved Scotch
After doing some experimenting, he got the bug to make it himself. It was Heather who came up with the company’s name
, Rabbit Hole, an apt description of the journey they soon would be taking. The rest was history!
Their Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys are 100% Kentucky-made
, hand-crafted to create a unique drinking experience. This award-winning waterfront distillery
has put Rabbit Hole Whiskey on the map.
10. Bertha González Nieves - Casa Dragones
"The lady of Tequila
", is the co-founder and CEO of Casa Dragones Tequila Company.
She is also the very first Master Tequilera
and among the 50 most powerful women in Mexico.
She believes the Tequila
industry is a "growth industry that could further enrich her country culturally and economically.
Gonzáles Nieves crafted Casa Dragones to be deeply committed to handcrafted, small-batch production which affords them the luxury of applying meticulous attention and detail into their product.
As she says: "We're in the business of taste, not in the business of volume."
More about the importance of women distillers through the history of Spirits in the video below.