Women in Wine Expo Porto Highlights

Reflections on Woman in Wine Expo in Porto

Women in Wine Expo is an international conference that brings women wine professionals from East and West, North and South, together, to talk, to share and to support each other. WIWE 2024 in Porto/ Vila Nova de Gaia welcomed 80 women from 26 countries.

In this post some of the key takeaways and highlights, the messages that stayed with us.

Welcome Event hosted by Taylor’s Port

We arrived in the magnificent Taylor’s Port Restaurant in Vila Nova de Gaia (opposite side of the river Douro to Porto) to a warm welcome by WIWE founder  Senay Ozdemir and the fabulous Women in Wine Expo team including Nelly Ward , Nadia Zammal and  Gizane Campos followed by a special welcome from Adrian Bridge the chairman of Taylor’s Port and a key initiator of the WOW centre and cultural district in Porto. WOW it was, from start to finish.

View from Taylort’s Port Restaurant over WOW Cultural District Gaia/ Porto

The Vibe of Porto / Vila Nova de Gaia

Before day 1 of the conference started, we raced to Cafe 7G Roaster to find coffee. As we waited for the doors to open, we got chatting with others waiting to get in. We all had to get somewhere urgently. The gate opened and we sped to the counter to order. The barista gave us a relaxed look and said:

‘I can see you’re in a hurry but we, we are not in a hurry.’

It was said in the nicest possible way and all we could do was laugh. We needed to get onto ‘Porto time’.

Day one – wonderful women, exceptional wines, great food

Sandra Tavares

Sandra Tavares  is all about old vines, organic farming, steep hillsides, and exceptional wines. Sandra shared how she is saving old vines and has created her own vine production and grafting to keeping that heritage alive.

Sandra Tavares

Sandra Tavares and her white wine Guru

Elizabeth Higley

Elizabeth Higley’s passion for hybrids and for Muscadine was infectious.

Her frightening information about Pierce’s disease and how fast it is spreading in North Carolina because of rising temperatures from climate change (from human generated Greenhouse Gas Emissions mostly generated by burning fossil fuels) gave me chills. Her question – is conventional wine growing of vitis vinifera responsible? Is it economically, environmentally, and ethically responsible? Especially in places where 25 to 30 sprays a season are necessary, like in North Carolina; made all of us stop and think.

Elizabeth Higley

Elizabeth Higley and her Port-style fortified wine

After a fabulous lunch at the Rebello hotel we visited Planet Cork.

Planet Cork in the WOW centre

We learned that Portugal produces 50% of the world’s cork. Cork oak trees can live for hundreds of years. They are not cut down; the bark is harvested every nine years. This is a truly renewable resource. (Find out about the corks that chateau Feely uses here and the screwcap cork debate here). The experience is well put together and educational like all of the WOW experiences.

Nadia Zammal at Planet Cork

Magda SA Cork Producer

Magda cork producer and extraordinary mother and businesswoman built on the Planet Cork visit by explaining her cork business and told us that the only pain she wanted was Champagne, which we obligingly produced by serving Feely sparkling Brut Rosé at the next session (not strictly ‘Champagne’…  but traditional method like Champagne).

Caro Feely Vineyard Confessions

While serving the Feely Brut Rosé, Chateau Feely’s Caro Feely spoke about Vineyard Confessions, following your dreams, her books and yoga (and wine of course) and led a meditation – this bold text links to the detail of the talk – to conclude the day.

Find Caro’s books here and her instagram here.

Caro Feely

Caro Feely of Chateau Feely speaking at the Women in Wine Expo

For dinner some attendees met up at the Time Out Market in Porto, a super fun time with new friends and fabulous food – highly recommended especially for groups.

Day two – sustainability, trends, and travel

An introduction to Senay Ozdemir, a mighty woman, and founder of Women in Wine Expo (WIWE) began day 2. Senay is passionate about Turkish wine and alongside her business House of Red and White in branding and PR she imports Turkish wine into the Netherlands. To celebrate WIWE, Senay had asked Kristinka Lazar, an artist, to create portraits of the women that were returning two years running, a beautiful gesture.

Senay Ozdemir

Senay Ozdemir (left) and Kristinka Lazar (right)

The Porto Protocol

Marta Mendonca  and Cristina Crava of Porto Protocol , the Wine Industry’s Climate Action Network, introduced their mission to share knowledge and solutions to catalyse climate action in the wine industry. They then celebrated some of the key women in the Porto Protocol (including our own Caro Feely – Chateau Feely has been a member for years). To understand more about the topic of the Climate crisis and what we can do we recommend reading Caro Feely’s latest book Cultivating Change.

Panel on Sustainability in Wine

Marta of Porto Protocol then facilitated a panel discussion on Sustainability in wine:

Sophie Bellin of Drunk on Décor  is a sustainability professional is based in Porto. Her startup creates home décor from used wine bottles. She is passionate about circular economy and zero waste.

Sophie Bellin

Sophie Bellin

Sophie was joined by Stephanie Cuadra, Wine Importer in the USA (Utah) and Wine Grower in Puglia, Italy, we loved hearing the story of how Stephanie and her husband are partnering with small winegrowers in a little known area of Puglia to keep the small scale, old vine, indigenous varietals alive, a very exciting project under the name of Lasorte Cuadra 

Next up was Kelly Pearson , Ladygarden Wines, who celebrates Women in Wine through partnerships with female winemakers to produce, promote and sell their wines. Another inspiring approach to raise awareness of small growers.

Finally, Mariana Serra of FSC talked about Forest Stewardship Council  and particularly FSC products for wine businesses – cork, labels, boxes and for those offerings wine tourism, the wood furniture we purchase.

Travel and Trends

We moved smoothly from Porto to Dublin with Lúcia Costa who left Porto in 2019 to move to Ireland and has a fabulous Dublin accent to prove it. She shared her passion for Neighbourhood wines , the wine shop she manages and the producers they represent.

Senay Ozdemir and Lucia Costa at WIWE 2024 in Porto

And from there we zipped across to Brazil with Karene Vilela  , CEO of Portus Cale and Master of Wine candidate, a real dynamo. She shared a snapshot of the Brazilian market and her wine journey.

Then to Poland with Joanna Pudo of Smart Vino, a dynamic businesswoman who is working to bring Poland’s current consumption of wine – 7 litres per person – closer to that of Portugal at around 50 litres per person. 😊

Joanna Pudo of Smart Vino

Evy Gozali of Sababay winery in Bali Indonesia is making waves in wine, wine tourism and partnering with small grape growers to make a local impact.

All the presentations were inspirational and packed with positive energy.

Perspectives of Female Wine Consumers

Senay Ozdemir and Women in Wine Expo invited the women of Burgundy School of Business – BSB – to research and present on Global Perspectives of Female Wine Consumers.

The team Hayley Aubin , Maria Chashchina  , Julie Dillon  , Heather Durham  , Carina Fangman  , Teresa Sandoval  , Wu Yili    and Xie Yunyun shared some fascinating findings from their research.

  • Women are more likely to care about sustainability in wine and are willing to pay more for sustainable wines (especially for northern Europeans and Kiwis).
  • Men have higher self-rated wine knowledge and confidence than women (ie men self-rate themselves higher than women self-rate themselves with the same qualification)
  • Women like to ask professionals for recommendations, men prefer to research in advance and then make their choice (sounds familiar – ever been with a man who is lost and won’t stop to ask for directions? 😉)

Burgundy School of Business Women MBA Candidates

Wine Tourism

The next session of the conference dug into wine tourism with Sonia Ramos of Manz Wine near Lisbon to hear about their success which Sonia said is all about love – feeling it and sharing it.

We heard about Armenian Wines with Zara Muradyan of the Vine & Wine Foundation of Armenia   and Nora Sargsyan of GIZ Armenia. Armenia is one of the cradles of wine and producing some stunning wines and exciting tourism.

Continuing the travel theme, our own Caro Feely of Chateau Feely in France shared her tips for Success in Wine Tourism.

The packed morning ended with a super travel writing workshop by Tiffany Patterson who invited us to write about a wine we had tasted during the previous day of the conference.

Chateau Feely were honored that Laurel Simmons of the podcast Wine Behind the Scenes read her work which celebrated the Chateau Feely Brut rosé with this piece:

‘Sunshine. Sparkles. Light. 
The taste of friendship.
The cooling sensation of grapes transformed from juice to happiness.’

Thank you Laurel. 😊

Caro Feely and Laurel Simmons of Wine Behind the Scenes podcast

Caro Feely and Laurel Simmons of Wine Behind the Scenes podcast

Hélène Temmerman  of Bijou Wines shared the Bijou rosé story and how the brand supports women through the Sophie Valrose story (Sophie fought for women’s rights and improved working conditions for her fellow women in the vineyard in which she worked in the 19th century) and via collaborations with other women entrepreneurs like designer Camille Liu. The wine was beautifully presented and delightful to taste, a real jewel of Provence rosé. Bijou Marketing manager and photographer Emily West  also took fabulous photos of the event.

An Experience in the WOW Centre

In the afternoon we were split up into groups to follow different experiences in the WOW Centre. We were part of the group that experienced the Taylor’s Port tour with one of their women winemakers -Joana Furriel -as our guide. A fabulous end to the formal part of the day tasting Taylor’s Port Late Bottled Vintage 2019.

We went back to do everything else in the WOW on Sunday after the conference – more about that  later. 

Taylor’s LBV Port 2019

Wine Tasting Event

To close the experience WIWE had organised a wine tasting event featuring amazing women and their wines. See below for the full listing of all the Wineries and their representatives.

Caro Feely sharing Feely La Source and Feely Brut Rose at the WIWE 2024 tasting in Porto

Caro Feely sharing Feely La Source and Feely Brut Rose at the WIWE 2024 tasting in Porto

Networking extraordinaire

Are women more open to networking and sharing? We think so. Are women in wine particularly special? Most certainly yes.

Beyond the learnings of the formal event – the networking and sharing during the breaks, lunches and evenings were as important. This would not be complete without a mention of the uber networker Shirley Fraser  from Australia who connected with many of us via linked in and Lucia Costa and Julie Dillon who set up a WhatsApp group for us.

Thank you.

Caro Feely and Janne Hallinan Networkling at the Women in Wine Expo

Caro Feely and Janne Hallinan Networkling at the Women in Wine Expo


Women in Wine Expo was a magnificent experience – the location, the speakers, the participants, the organisers. Here’s to the incredible venue of WOW Porto, to Women supporting Women, to Women in Wine, and especially to Women in Wine Expo. Cheers!


Girls having fun at Women in Wine Expo in Porto

Girls having fun at Women in Wine Expo in Porto


Women in Wine Expo 2024 Wine Tasting Event Wineries

Countries in alphabetical order.


Krya LLC represented by Tatevik Gabrielyan www.kryawines.com https://www.instagram.com/kryawines

Northern Terroir LLC represented by Zara Mazmanian www.northernterroir.am https://www.instagram.com/northernterroir

Trinity Canyon Vineyards represented by Mariam Saghatelyan www.trinitycv.com


Voskeni Wines Website: www.voskeniwines.com  https://www.instagram.com/voskeni


Ladygarden Wines represented Kelly Pearson https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-pearson-b7513b13/

www.ladygardenwines.com.au  https://www.instagram.com/ladygardenwines/


Bijou Wine represented by Hélène Temmerman. Www.bijouwine.com  https://www.instagram.com/bijouwine/

Château Feely represented by Caro Feely www.chateauFeely.com



TSV Estate Winery represented by Tika Svanidze Vancko www.tikawine.com https://www.instagram.com/tikawine


Sababay Industry represented by Evy Gozali www.sababaywinery.com https://www.instagram.com/sababaywinery


Lasorte Cuadra represented by Stephanie Cuadra www.lasortecuadra.com https://www.instagram.com/lasortecuadra

New Zealand

Eva Pemper Wines represented by Eva Pemper (originally from Croatia)

www.epwines.nz    https://www.instagram.com/evapemperwines


Taylor’s Port represented by Joana Furriel www.taylor.pt


Carneiro Family Wines represented by Cristiana Carneiro Www.carneirowines.pt


ManzWine represented by Sónia Ramos www.manzwine.com https://www.instagram.com/manzwine

Wine & Soul represented by Sandra Tavares www.wineandsoul.com


House of Red & White presented Turkish wines represented by Zeynep Tangil



Chateau Feely are passionate about sustainability and wine tourism and sharing our message about the importance of organic farming and taking action on climate change. Women in Wine Expo was the wonderful forum to network and share Chateau Feely’s experience with a wonderful group of women wine professionals. Thank you again to the mighty Senay Ozdemir and the fabulous team at Women in Wine Expo including Nelly WardNadia Zammal , Gizane Campos for the opportunity to speak at this fabulous event and WOW Porto for the fabulous venue and to official photographer/ videographer Csaba Bogadi and  participant photographer Emily Victoria West.

You can find the wine tourism tips for success Chateau Feely case study presentation.  Discover  Caro’s presentation on Following your Dreams.  Find all Caro’s books, where to buy them and ISBNs.

Buy Feely premium organic wines online (shipped in the EU). For other countries please contact us.

Explore French Wine Adventures for a wine tour or walking tour .

Come and discover more with a visit to Chateau Feely in South West France and / or stay with us .

Book a virtual experience or course.

Join our mailing list to receive our seasonal newsletter, events, wine pairing, recipes and more info on this topic at the bottom right of this page.

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