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Raise a Glass to the Women of Weibel Family Winery

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For over eight decades, the Weibel family has brought their uniquely crafted wines and sparkling wines to the forefront of the wine industry. In the world of wine, traditional roles such as lead winemaker are often dominated by men. However, it is the women of Weibel who are uniquely centered within the family business, focusing not on gender but on strong work ethic, distinct attributes and valued input.

Judy Weibel, Vice President of Weibel Family Winery
Judy’s keen sense of style and elegance can be found throughout the family business. In 2014, the Weibel Tasting Room opened in Downtown Lodi; with her knack for unique finds, she focused on a 1940s theme combined with eclectic modern touches. “I adore the unique style of the ’40s and because Fred’s grandfather started the winery during that decade, I wanted to keep an element of the era throughout the tasting room.” To accommodate the growing endeavor, a new tasting room in a newly remodeled vintage building two doors down from the original is set to open this month. Judy’s also responsible for making sure Lois looks fabulous. Affectionately named after her mother, Lois is a mannequin that is displayed inside the Tasting Room sipping one of the Weibel sparkling wines; Judy often rotates out her attire in keeping with the 1940s décor.

Before becoming Weibel’s VP, Judy owned a diamond broker business for 28 years. As a woman in a male-dominated business, her biggest challenge was building her business from the ground up. “Hard work and dedication are invaluable, and understanding your clientele is the key to success. Make your style or brand just a little more eye-catching than the rest and, of course, providing excellent customer service is essential to building a business”

Corrie Gutierrez, Executive Assistant to Fred Weibel
From ordering products to coordinating events at the winery, working on charity events and pick-up parties to assisting with the day-to-day operations at the winery, Corrie’s responsibilities include a little bit of everything. “I love where I am right now. Working alongside so many amazing people allows me to be involved in so many great aspects of Weibel. The customers are wonderful, and I truly enjoy every aspect of my job.” Corrie also works closely with winemaker Melissa Robles and assists customers to ensure they receive the best that Weibel has to offer.

Corrie got her start in the wine business working for a large corporation restaurant business. With this in her back pocket, Corrie started at Weibel in the tasting room. She then moved into compliance and began working with customers on their wine production. From there she worked her way throughout the winery, learning every aspect of the business. “I have an opportunity to see customers who start out small and then work their way up. As they grow their business, my love for my job grows too,” shared Corrie.

Melissa Robles, Weibel Winemaker
As the winemaker, Melissa’s job is to make sure the grapes are converted into wine. At Weibel, winemaking is a bit different, and their knack for sparkling wines sets Weibel apart from the crowd. Because sparkling wines require two fermentations, the process takes precise supervision and dedication. Bringing her passion for precision to the Weibel winery, Melissa helped improve the lab and cellar by providing insight on the benefits of upgrading to new equipment that allows the winemaking process to be more efficient and precise. “I enjoy my job at Weibel because it’s not something I would do anywhere else. The unique vision and family-centered ideals really make my job as the winemaker so enjoyable,” shared Melissa.

Before her role at Weibel, Melissa worked at a large winery as the assistant winemaker for five years. She learned the winemaking process, eventually going on to study winemaking at UC Davis and obtaining her winemaking certificate through their extension program.

Brenda Hunter, Tasting Room Manager
After learning the ropes as assistant manager, Brenda became the Tasting Room manager in 2016. She runs the day-to-day operations, hosting events such as Ladies’ Night Out, and she’s busy planning for the grand opening of the new tasting room. She attributes a large part of the tasting room’s success to the employees. “We all strive to provide a welcoming, fun and informative atmosphere. This comes from our great employees who work together as a team, something that’s just as important as hospitality,” shared Brenda. Her role also includes accounting, ordering supplies and materials, marketing events and scheduling events.

Brenda worked for a small wine broker, eventually moving on to a larger distributor. Her father lives in Napa and was part of a wine-tasting group. Through spending time with him and being immersed in the wine culture, her love for the business blossomed into a career. “We would share our new finds and go tasting in the slow-paced quiet Napa Valley of the ’80s. I have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world sharing the love of wine and how it brings people together. I’ve watched many new friendships bloom at
the bar.”

For more information about Weibel Family Winery, the Tasting Room events and the Weibel Wine Club, visit weibel.com