Middleburg’s Cana Vineyards winemaker Melanie Natoli was named Woman Winemaker of the Year as part of the 2017 International Women’s Wine Competition.
Natoli shared the award with Aimee Sunseri of Nicheline Family Vineyards and New Clairvaux Vineyard in Napa Valley, California.
Natoli’s best showing wine was Cana Vineyards’ NV Sweet Vermouth, which earned a Double Gold medal, Best of Class designation, and Best of Show in the Dessert/Late Harvest category. Cana Vineyards also won two silver medals at the IWWC for the 2016 Albarino and 2016 Rkatsiteli, and bronze for its 2016 Petit Manseng and 2016 Riesling. There were more than 1,150 entries and the judges awarded 29 Double Gold medals, 54 Best of Class awards, and six Best of Show awards.
Established in 2007, the International Women’s Wine Competition is designed to highlight wines that appeal to women consumers, as well as wines produced by women. This year’s competition was judged June 20-21 in Sonoma County, CA.
Natoli started winemaking in 2009 as an intern. In 2011, she left her career as a physical therapist to pursue winemaking full time. She joined Cana in 2015 as winemaker and vineyard manager.