NAPA / SONOMA, CALIFORNIA |3. March 2021: The Sonoma chapter of the Women for WineSense (WWS) Legends in Viticulture and Winemaking Roundtable Series returns to Napa on Wednesday, June 3. March 2021, from 3:15 to 5 p.m., with a candid and inspiring conversation with pioneer, entrepreneur and wine mentor Zelma Long.  The event will be live online with private registration links for active participants.

ON THE EVENTThe conference will be filled with information about Zelma Long’s background and the technical, entrepreneurial and business management skills she has developed to lead businesses of all sizes as a successful CEO, global consulting winemaker and vineyard owner, while balancing time for her family, lifelong learning and more.

The aim of the roundtable is to exchange concrete experiences, transfer ideas and facilitate lively question-and-answer sessions that will help the participants in their own activities.

At 3:15 p.m., earlycomers can look into the zoom mode to take advantage of the unofficial reconnection.  At 3:30 p.m., the roundtable leaders will discuss announcements and upcoming events.  At 3:40 p.m., panelists Jennifer Higgins and Melissa Castro will interview Ms. Long, followed by an interactive question-and-answer session.  Questions can be submitted in advance by email ([email protected]) or participants can use the event’s ladder chat.   Extended registration was also planned for participants who had missed the live event.

The Chair of the Roundtable, Julie Lumgair, noted this: Our roundtable brings together over one hundred professional members of the wine and grape industry in a spirit of community and promotion of excellence.  A conversation with Zelma Long is the perfect way to celebrate Women’s History Month and Zelma’s enormous contribution to our industry.

PARTS RSVP:  The free roundtable is open only to active participants in the WWS Wine and Viticulture Roundtable.  Interested and qualified winemakers who have received email confirmation of RSVP from the roundtable chair may register and participate in the event prior to the event.

For registration or questions about this or future WWS Winemaking Roundtable events, please contact the President ([protected by email]).

FOR DYNAMICS: The renowned Zelma Long has fifty years of experience as a winemaker in three states, six countries, and Napa and Sonoma, with a total of seventy vintages.  One of the highlights of his career was Chef Oenologist Robert Mondavi, who went from winemaker to President and CEO of Simi, and eventually to Executive Vice-President of Chandon Estates.  Since 1997, she and husband Phil Friese have been building a vineyard for their South African winery and the Wilafonte Vineyard and consulting around the world.  In 1978, she established the American Vineyard Foundation to fund research in oenology and viticulture. Over the years, she has been a member or president of numerous other industry organizations and has received a long list of professional honors, including the James Beard Award and the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of California, Davis.

As she noted in (2/2020), I continue to mentor young women in all areas as the opportunity arises, providing education, including travel, problem solving, and encouraging faith and confidence in their abilities and skills.

ON THE ROUND TABLE ON VITICULTURE AND WINEMAKINGThis WWS Roundtable meets approximately six times a year, with a break for harvest.  During the pandemic, events have been moved online and will continue, safety permitting, with celebrations at member wineries.

Ms. Lumgair on: The themes of our recent meetings were the professional skills and knowledge that women winemakers and vineyard workers need, but which they are not always able to easily convey in their daily work environment.

She went on to explain that these programs, which have been running online and at some of the largest wineries in Napa and Sonoma since the spring of 2020, are a fantastic opportunity for the more than 100 participating winemakers to connect directly with experts they might not otherwise meet for personal advice and questions in a friendly and professional forum.  Speakers included numerous wine critics and editors, leading academics, global sensory consultants, sommeliers, media coaches, CFOs and CEOs during roundtable discussions, as well as career coaches in key industries and top human resources executives.

ON OTHER WWS ROUNDTABLES:  The eight roundtables currently organized by the WWS provide a welcoming and confidential atmosphere for bi-monthly or quarterly meetings of small groups of peers. Network members network, advise and support each other, and facilitate educational events by inviting speakers from their fields and discussing current topics that network members face in their daily work. Organized numerous roundtable discussions for WWS industry members in the areas of finance, accounting, human resources, winemaking, and direct-to-consumer marketing/sales.

The Napa/Sonoma Chapter currently has over 400 members, 80% of whom are wine industry professionals. To participate in the WWS roundtable discussions or to learn more, visit  For more information on WWS roundtables other than those on wine and viticulture, please contact Napa|. Hillary Silva, Sonoma Chapter roundtable director ([email protected]).

ON WOMEN FOR WINE  WWS is a national 501(c)6 non-profit organization.  Established in 1990, the Sonoma Napa|Chapter is the founding body of this national organization that provides excellent educational and networking opportunities for wine industry professionals and wine lovers by presenting educational, informative and challenging events in a welcoming and fun atmosphere.  Men and women of legal drinking age are welcome.  A number of exciting events are planned for 2021, initially virtual, with plans to move to a mix of virtual and face-to-face events as the secure pandemic environment allows.

To register or learn more, visit

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