If you're looking for accomplished women in the wine industry, then you need look no further than Master of Wine Lynne Coyle.
Lynne, who comes from a family of Scottish hoteliers and restaurateurs, was exposed to wine from an early age. When she travelled to Tuscany in her early twenties, her professional interest in wine began, which is when she began to study and learn more about the field.
Lynne helms up O'Briens Wines, Ireland's largest family-owned drinks retailer, and her position as Wine Director positions her as one of the most prominent figures in the industry. Having been awarded the title Master of Wine, which is the most prestigious wine qualification in the world, Lynne now promotes excellence in the wine community through mentoring and teaching. A notoriously difficult process, Lynne says that experience and accreditation were well worth her time and effort:
"The Master of Wine journey was one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities I have had in my career. Not only do you learn at the highest academic and wine tasting level, but you are also privileged enough to meet other students and industry people from around the globe, creating valuable networking opportunities."
Along with Justine McGovern, Lynne recently set up Wine Spirit Women, an organisation that empowers women in the drinks industry. Speaking about gender disparity in the wine industry, Lynne told us that the industry is changing:
"The wine industry is very fragmented across growing, winemaking, marketing, retail and distribution. I don't have official numbers on gender split but there are now multiple opportunities for women to get into the wine industry."
As such a staunch supporter of women in the industry, Lynne recently joined with fellow winemaker Alicia Eyaralar from Tandem Winery in Navarra, Spain to create Rós. A low-intervention rosé that was fermented with wild yeasts, Rós looks set to make a big impression on the Irish wine scene later this year. Lynne and Alicia launched Rós at a recent Spanish Wine Week event in Wilde at The Westbury hotel where we were among some of the first in the country to try the wine.
With aromas of strawberry on the nose and pale pink in colour, this dry, fruity wine works very well with food and is available at O'Brien's retailers around the country now. It will also be part of the rosé sale taking place instore later this month. The wine, which is made from Garnacha black grapes, has been a true passion project of Lynne's, with around 1,000 cases produced, most of which are set to be sold in Ireland.
"Rós, is my first personal winemaking project and is a collaboration with my longtime friend Alicia Eyaralar. I approached Alicia and asked her to help me make Rós. We brought different ideas to the winemaking and in the end, Rós has benefited from our joint experience, intuition, patience and the odd risk.
I love the fact that Alicia works as naturally as possible, so we took a long and nerve-wracking journey and fermented with native vineyard yeasts. Working without technology, we relied on gravity movement and natural settling which took time but allowed for the gentle handling we wanted."