» Spring 2017
Sisterhood at Sheldrake Point Winery
Sheldrake Point Winery enjoys success owing in large part to the people who work hard every day to bring our great wine to a glass near you. In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, we shine a spotlight on five women on our staff who have done everything from picking in the vineyard to pouring our wine in New York City. Here’s a little background on each, and their unique experiences as women in the wine industry:
Whitney Elrod, Wine Club Manager
Ithaca native Whitney Elrod got to Sheldrake Point the way so many others have— through the tasting room! A graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she has traveled and worked in the wine regions of Washington State, Sonoma County of California, and the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Whitney has a level 2 WSET certification. Her Finger Lakes experience began with a job at Fox Run Vineyards, where she worked alongside Kyle Pallischeck, Sheldrake Point’s Marketing and Sales Manager.
In Whitney’s words: It has not been a deliberate effort to turn Sheldrake Point into a female-dominated workplace. Rather, it’s been about finding qualified people who are dedicated to the Finger Lakes wine industry and who can work well together to promote the brand.
And that is what we have right now— a strong, hardworking team who all have a background and/or education in wine, who are actively working to further that education, and who can work together to produce the best product and experience for our customers. It just so happens that there are a lot of women on the Sheldrake Point team who fit this description.
Lisa Morton, Business Manager
Lisa has long been part of the Sheldrake Point team, joining us in 2005 to take on the work of administration, human resources, and accounting. Her experience includes being a buyer for a military electronics company before making an industry switch to a contract food service management company, where she learned the ins and outs of catering, compliance, and licensing. After a stint at Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Lisa brought her finance and operations experience in the food and wine industries to Sheldrake Point.
In Lisa’s words: I believe that the Finger Lakes is a big draw for progressive women. The Finger Lakes wine industry attracts an incredible talent pool, so it is no surprise that a significant number of high-caliber women would converge at Sheldrake Point Winery.
We continually say that because Finger Lakes wineries are smaller scale, we all wear many hats to keep us producing great wine. One day I will have Whitney helping me in the office, and another day I will be out helping to unpack just-delivered Cabernet Franc vines. That certainly keeps everything interesting, but getting to do that work side-by-side with this group of smart, talented, funny women is one of the best things about being at Sheldrake Point.
Kyle Anne Pallischeck, Marketing and Sales Manager
Kyle, a Finger Lakes native, previously spent over four years at Fox Run Vineyards as manager of their Tasting Room and Café & Market, overlapping time with Whitney Elrod, Sheldrake Point’s Wine Club Manager, and Julia Hoyle, formerly our Assistant Winemaker and now Head Winemaker at Hosmer Winery.
Kyle has her Sommelier Certification earned via the Court of Master Sommeliers, is a founding board member of the Finger Lakes Chapter of Women for WineSense, and teaches wine education classes at NYWCC.
In Kyle’s words: Women tend to form special bonds when we work together, and I have grown to admire these “soft skills” in the women of Sheldrake Point: Whitney’s confidence and strong sense of right and wrong; Lisa’s dedication to Sheldrake Point, and her depth of knowledge about the beverage industry; Christine’s cheerfulness and ‘science brain’; and Kimberly’s toughness—her willingness to spend her days bundled up to prune through winter.
We currently have a large pool of hardworking, intelligent, curious, and amazing young women locally who have the hearts and minds to propel this industry forward. I’m forever grateful to be where I am right now, watching all of it happen right around me.
Christine Maguire, Tasting Room Manager
Christine joined Sheldrake Point after five years at the New York Wine and Culinary Center, where she was able to direct her passion for food and wine into a career in the hospitality industry. She earned her level 2 WSET certification and is on the board of the Finger Lakes Chapter of Women for WineSense.
In Christine’s words: The most wonderful thing about working with this group of women at Sheldrake Point is how smart and strong in their convictions they all are.
We have all been in situations where we have not been taken seriously because of either (or both) our gender or our age. At Sheldrake Point, our opinions, experience, and expertise are not only respected but depended upon. It is incredibly refreshing to work in this environment where engaging in constructive discourse is highly valued.
I am lucky to have wonderful women role models who know how to own the room, and run a meeting, an event, or a business, from my managers and supervisors at the Culinary Center to both my mother and my stepmother, and now also at Sheldrake Point!
Kimberly White, Assistant Winemaker
Kimberly has been working in the Sheldrake Point vineyard and wine cellar since August 2015, and assumed the role of Assistant Winemaker this past January. She is also an adjunct instructor in the Finger Lakes Community College viticulture and wine program.
In Kimberly’s words: I have had to prove myself in both working the vineyard in France, where women were not involved in the production side of the industry, and also in wine sales—there proving I knew what I was talking about because I was a young woman.
At Sheldrake Point, we are all friends as well as coworkers—we actually joke that “The Daves” are surrounded by women (Breeden and Wiemann, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, respectively). We do have fun, but, more importantly, we have solidarity. And there is certainly no gender bias. I do a lot of outdoor work, and no one has ever discouraged me from doing physical labor or fixing the tractor— I always hear “try”!
Comings and Goings
Sheldrake Point Winery is pleased to announce that Kimberly White is our new Assistant Winemaker. A graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she found her passion for the Finger Lakes wine industry during an internship at Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station. After a stint at Shinn Estate Vineyard not far from her home on Long Island, Kimberly returned to the Finger Lakes to take a position as ‘cellar rat’ at Swedish Hill.
Kimberly earned her Master’s degree in wine microbiology at Washington State University, worked a harvest in Bordeaux, and then worked in wine distribution for two years based out of Brooklyn. She has been working in the Sheldrake Point vineyard and wine cellar since August 2015, and assumed the role of Assistant Winemaker this past January.
We also bid a fond farewell to Julia Hoyle, who has been a part of the Sheldrake Point winemaking team since 2014. In mid- December, Julia moved up the road to Hosmer Winery, assuming the role of Head Winemaker.
It’s a big Finger Lakes family, and we couldn’t be more proud of both Kimberly and Julia.
- Sheldrake Point Winery and Autumn’s Harvest Farm Dinner
- Annual Barrel Tasting – Wine Club Exclusive
- Rosés of the Finger Lakes
For more information and to register for events, view our calendar.
In the Glass
A Gewürztraminer lovers dream with luscious aromatics, signature spice, and soft ripe fruit flavors.
Don’t get stuck in the rut of believing Gewürztraminer to be a wine only for Thanksgiving- while it’s delicious with turkey and cranberry sauce, enjoy this semi-dry wine any time of year with Indian curries and coconut sauces, smoked duck and blood orange salad, or a ham and Gruyère grilledread more»
A recipe-testing Sheldrake Point Wine Club member tells us that our 2014 Gewürztraminer and this chicken shawarma are made for each other: “The subtle spice of this dish tingles on the palate when you sip the Gewürztraminer, really enhancing the flavor of the grape. This recipe is so easy, andread more»