Founded by Justine McGovern and Lynne Coyle, Wine Spirit Women has launched in Ireland. The networking group for women in the drinks industry is the first of its kind in the country.

Justine, the co-director for the California Wine Institute, and Lynne, wine director for O’Briens Wine, have over 50 years of industry experience between them. The pair decided to start the initiative as a way to share their experience and bring together women in the drinks industry. Aiming to create a positive environment for women to mentor each other, Justine and Lynne’s new group is open to women of all ages and backgrounds, from students to CEOs. The first event hosted by Wine Spirits Women included keynote speeches from Nora Theil Sperling of Delheim Wines and Marie Byrne, founder of Chinnery Gin.

There are seven key factors to this one-of-a-kind organisation, each of which aims to support and encourage members. The group hopes to help women to network with others in their industry, allow members to influence the direction of the group and advance individual and industry-wide growth. The group is welcoming members, but non-members are free to attend events too, as tickets can be purchased separately. A key goal of the organisation is to help empower younger women in the industry by offering WSET scholarships and student membership to Wine Spirit Women.

Speaking to us about the launch of the organisation, Justine commented:

"The event was astounding, 82 women came and there was just so much positivity in the room. The general feeling was that everyone needed the group and wants it to grow more. People felt so safe, comfortable and happy, which was exactly what we wanted. 

Our key ethos is network, influence, advance. We want to help spread a positive influence through mentoring and help women to advance with their careers. We gave away 13 student memberships to show to the younger generation that there are connections to be made and help to be found. It’s for everyone in the drinks industry, not just wine and spirits. It’s going to keep growing, we hope to spread to Europe soon."

We love the idea of this new organisation and think it is an excellent way to welcome more women to the wine and spirits industry in Ireland. We’re sure that Wine Spirits Women will be a group to watch, so keep an eye on the group’s Twitter feed for more updates.

Did you attend the Wine Spirits Launch? Let us know how it went in the comments.