News from our 2019 and 2020 Simone Awards laureates

Since 2018, the Simone Awards have honored six amazing women dedicated to causes aiming to change our world for the better. We spoke with previous Simone Award winners Nathalie, Stori, Christine, and Shelby to hear about their recent work.

Through Raison d’Art, Nathalie Hazan focuses on violence prevention. Her most recent work, PortraitX, is a five-year research intervention project to prevent teen dating violence in high schools across Canada. Within the context of PortraitX, Nathalie and her team have developed an app combining technology, art, and media to educate teenagers on how to build relationships.

At the Marin Academy Research Collaborative (MARC), Stori and her team continue to inspire and empower young women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities. “It has been a joy to watch young women develop into the next generation of scientists and leaders tackling such complex issues as climate change, public health, translational research, and exoplanet discovery,” confirmed Stori. Since 2019, more than 20 young women in the program have partnered with mentors worldwide to design and conduct their own scientific studies.

In the past months, Shelby Meyer was able to move forward with her work at SquareOne Village. Her team at Landscape For Humanity worked with Opportunity Village Eugene residents to build a transitional housing community for people with low incomes. When asked about the impact of the global pandemic on her work, Shelby answered, “Of course, community collaboration has been more difficult with the restrictions from the pandemic. We have created surveys for the villagers about their environmental needs before, during, and post-COVID, and we have been thoroughly documenting our design processes and safely prototyping new designs.”

Since founding À Chacun Son Everest ! in 1994, Christine Janin organized hundreds of restorative stays for children and women in remission from cancer. Despite the restrictions affecting France in 2020, the association was able to run two recovery trips for children and eight residencies with women. “I am so grateful for the Simone Awards. Not only did they provide us with monetary assistance but they also gave us visibility on a global scale,” said Christine.

This year, more than ever, the Simone Awards are an essential part of Château de Pommard’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. Nominations are open until April 30, 2021 on simoneawards.com/nominations.

The 2021 Simone Awards are now open – nominate a candidate

Château de Pommard and the Simone Awards Board announce today the opening of the 2021 Simone Awards. Each year, the awards shine a light on women-led organizations focusing on giving back to their community. Candidates may submit their applications directly on the awards website until April 30, 2021.

The Simone Awards celebrate and support causes headed by female leaders across the world. The winners are selected each year by the board, consisting of Château de Pommard’s leadership team and the current Awards ambassador. This year, the Simone Awards Board is thrilled to welcome Tanisha Townsend, wine educator and author of Girl Meets Glass, as the 2021 Simone Awards ambassador. A wine professional, Townsend dedicates her career to sharing her passion and knowledge with wine lovers worldwide. Through wine education courses, private tastings, her blog, and podcasts, she empowers her community to discover the world of wine and their own tastes.

Just like Townsend, the Simone Awards empower women committed to making the world a better place by rewarding the causes they run with financial support. The awards’ funds come from the sale of Château de Pommard’s rarest cuvée, Simone. Each year, Famille Carabello-Baum, Château de Pommard’s owners, donate 10% of the profits from the current vintage to the winners’ causes. This year, Château de Pommard has released an additional three and six-bottle wine collections whose proceeds will also contribute to the awards.

The Simone Awards have already helped fund ocean conservation, violence prevention, and women’s human rights protection. The 2021 winners are set to be announced on July 10-11, 2021. 

Meet Tanisha Townsend, Our 2021 Simone Awards Ambassador

Tanisha Townsend - Simone Awards
Tanisha Townsend - Simone Awards

This year, the Simone Awards Board is thrilled to welcome Tanisha Townsend, wine educator and author of Girl Meets Glass, as the 2021 Simone Awards ambassador. As a wine professional, Townsend has dedicated her career to sharing her passion and knowledge with wine lovers. Through wine education courses, private tastings, her blog and podcasts, she empowers her community to discover the world of wine and their own tastes.

We spoke with Tanisha about her story and what it means to be the Simone Awards Ambassador.

Tanisha, can you please introduce yourself? What has been your journey so far?

Hello, I’m Tanisha Townsend, originally from Chicago, Illinois. I currently live in Paris, France, where I teach wine courses at a couple of universities. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was doing food and wine tours with people searching for new types of experiences. Since then, I do those virtually. I also do a little bit of writing and have launched my own podcast. 

How did you get involved with wine? 

I got involved in the wine industry by accident. I started drinking wine because I was kind of stressed out when I was in grad school. So that was something that I did to relax. I attended a few wine festivals when I lived in Maryland and Virginia. I got fascinated by the wine world, so I decided to take wine courses and then get into wine marketing. I did a lot of wine tastings in grocery stores, trained waitstaff, and trade. I decided to move to Paris, and it was the best decision of my life.

What drew you to France?

Wine, of course! When I first got into wine, it just seemed like the French regions were the ones that I was able to work with. I decided to start a wine career while in Burgundy, taking a course with the local inter-professional bureau. I realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life. So, it’s interesting that it all ties back. And here we are in Burgundy again. 

According to you, what is so special about France’s terroir? 

I think it’s special because it’s entirely different from one region to another. You may find gravel in the soil in one place, and somewhere else, you’ll find limestone or sand. It’s fascinating to see how it all ties in with the weather as well—the sunshine, the rainfall. I don’t think there are any other regions in the world that tie in perfectly to how the wine comes out. 

What do you love the most when teaching about wine?

What I love is that moment when someone gets it, whether I’m talking about tasting notes for a particular wine or a specific topic—the soil, the climate, or even how the grape becomes wine. I just love to see that light bulb moment when they’re like, “OK, I get it.” 

Introducing a new concept to someone is also a great experience, especially now that we have gone more digital. People want to learn how wine goes from the vineyard to the cellar to the internet. It’s truly fulfilling to be able to teach that and have someone understand the whole process. 

What are your commitments right now in your professional life and for the wine industry? 

My first commitment to the wine industry is as a voice. There aren’t too many people like me in this industry. “Like me” being a woman, being a Black woman, and most of all being a Black American woman. Many times, I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t realize how important it was to see someone who looked like them until they saw me. That is why I need to get in front of a camera or a classroom. 

Whether I’m out championing causes or fighting the good fight, just me being present and doing what I do is probably helping someone along the way. People can see someone that looks like them and realize that it’s possible for them. 

Another commitment I have to myself is just knowing more about wine and the industry. I think when you’ve been in the industry for a while, you may get too comfortable and just forget to explore this infinite world of wine. So that is my challenge every year, to learn a bit more about some of the regions and taste different grapes.

How do you stick to your personal and professional commitments? 

I don’t want an average life. And to not have an average life, I have to do things that aren’t average, and that’s having commitments, whether they’re personal or professional, and keeping them. I want a great life. I have to stick with my commitments, whether perfecting a new language, learning about new grapes, or traveling to different places.

What would you say to inspire women in the wine industry?

I would say, “Don’t let anyone dim your light.” There will be many times when people may talk down to you, talk over you, or act like they don’t notice you. Don’t let that deter you. Don’t let that bother you. Keep going. Keep doing what you’re doing.

There are a lot of people that women can reach out to now, whether it’s personally or through the Internet. There are mentor-mentee relationships. There are so many things that are available for you. Please don’t let anyone dim your light in that way, and study, study, study. 

What is your advice to anyone who wants to learn more about wine?

There is no better time to learn more about wine than now. There are so many things available to you: books, blogs, influencers, Google, YouTube videos. There is no excuse that you can’t know more, even at a basic level. To go further than that, there are certification courses or tasting courses with different schools. 

What is the best topic to learn about wine?

I would recommend starting with the wine tasting steps. It’s so much more than just picking up a glass and putting it to your lips. It’s the act of swirling and detecting the notes on the nose, in the mouth. The sensations, the perceptions you get from that experience. 

What is the big difference between France and the U.S.?

I noticed a considerable difference in diversity between the U.S. and French wine industries. The United States is more conscious of the diversity issue. The way race is viewed in France is just not the same. I noticed a few times that when I am at an event or a wine tasting in France, I see a lot fewer people that look like me. Maybe that is because they don’t want to be in the industry—I don’t know.

What are the causes that you give back to?

The causes and projects that I mostly give back to are ones that have to do with education, in any form. I was involved in creative education in my neighborhood in Chicago, where they don’t necessarily have the money or the resources to teach the arts. I also am very passionate about the wine industry and giving back to organizations that help out minorities in the industry. Giving back to those causes and being actively involved has always been important to me—and will always be.

What do the Simone Awards mean to you? 

It means so much. I was honored when I was asked to be the Simone Awards ambassador because it means being a voice for an award that’s so important. This award means so much to so many women across the world. They are doing amazing things. I’m just really honored. 

The Simone Awards, to me, is an award that recognizes women that are doing amazing things and giving back to their community. That’s so important to me because I was raised with this concept of service to the community, giving back and doing something to help someone else. The Simone Awards rewards women out there doing the work, participating in a much bigger cause than just them.

Meet Christine Janin, founder of A Chacun son Everest

A Chacun son Everest - 2020 Simone Awards
A Chacun son Everest - 2020 Simone Awards

CHRISTINE JANIN - FOUNDER, À CHACUN SON EVEREST!

À Chacun Son Everest! is an Association founded in 1994 by Christine Janin, a mountaineer doctor and the first French woman ever to climb Mount Everest and to go the North Pole. The association is dedicated to helping children suffering from leukemia or cancer and women suffering from breast cancer by guiding them in the post-disease phase, putting together trips to the mountains for people in recovery.

Christine, what is your background? 

I am a mountaineer doctor. Medicine has taught me everything. I was able to climb Everest a few years ago and learned so much from that experience. From there, I met wonderful people who encouraged me in thinking about the difficulties that I encountered when trying to climb Everest; and the parallel with disease. This is why I decided to found À Chacun Son Everest!.

Tell us more about À Chacun Son Everest!

I committed myself to this cause 25 years ago and it has been such a strong message for women and children suffering from cancer. Their individual journeys are completely different from each other, but they are also their personal Everest, and we guide them through the descent. This is a complicated phase because everything has changed for them. Their self-image has changed, and how others see them is different: they seem stronger and brave, but this is not that obvious. This is why guiding them through this post-treatment phase is so important. We build teams of up to 16 people, including doctors and nurses. It demands a lot of organization, just like a huge mountain climbing party roped together.

What do you offer through your organization?

Since 1994, we have put in place one-week stays for children suffering from cancer, in Chamonix in the French Alps. Our ambition is to help them become stronger than ever through walking, climbing, and meeting with kids in the same situation. For the association’s 20th anniversary, we decided to open up to women suffering from breast cancer. Generally speaking, our stays rely on kindness. They involve many laughs and some cries. We offer physical activities such as walking and yoga, as well as more spiritual moments like meditation and sophrology classes. Lastly, we provide psychological support as our goal is to help regenerate the soul. Doctors and treatments have cured their bodies, while we cure their souls. We want to make sure that they leave Chamonix proud and free from what they went through. In total, since 1994, we have welcomed 4,561 children and 1,200 women.

How do you feel about winning the Simone Awards? 

I am so touched by this award. For me, this is a powerful recognition of our work. On the one hand, it shows the value of what we have put in place for the children and the women; and on the other hand, it is a true appreciation of the people involved in the association. These people are entirely committed and proud to be part of this adventure. This award is a real gift for all of us. You are giving me a prize, but I see it as a way to thank these amazing people. I am honored, as well, to win this prize alongside other women on an international level.

How will the Simone Awards contribute to À Chacun Son Everest!’s mission?

The prize will enable us to welcome these women and children in a safe environment and provide good working conditions for our team. We provide these “restorative” stays which can be seen as the last nudge in the recovery process. We help them transform their disease experience into a strength, and find this energy to live and not feel alone anymore. Some of our guests have told me that through the disease and their recovery, they were able to take back control of their life. I like to say that the disease forces people to stop for a while, let go of the things they don’t want to do anymore and switch to a better life.

Meet Shelby Meyers

Landscape for Humanity - 2020 Simone Awards
Landscape for Humanity - 2020 Simone Awards

SHELBY MEYERS - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LANDSCAPE FOR HUMANITY

Landscape For Humanity works with landscape as the fundamental framework for creating spatial changes that support social and environmental justice through design, research, and real-world projects. As Executive Director, Shelby works on the ground, with the communities to build these landscapes.

Shelby, can you tell us about your background?

Generally speaking, my work is also what I am really passionate about, which is building gardens and landscapes, while working directly with communities. I believe that gardens and plants can really heal people and bring people together. It has been amazing to witness that through the projects I have worked on in the past years. It’s just such a fun and powerful tool for community building, which I think is getting more and more important these days.

How did you start your journey in community building?

I went to the University of Oregon in Eugene, where I studied Landscape Architecture and graduated in 2016. From there, I stayed within the community of Eugene as I wanted to get my hands dirty and work with the soil, as well as with the people. I was able to put to use everything I had been thinking about while at school. I was on the ground designing, installing and managing gardens, and started working with landscape contractors. I worked on my very first big project which was a pivotal moment: with three close girlfriends, we started a community market in town called The Whiteaker Community Market. It is in a very artistic neighborhood and we have a lot of craft vendors, food vendors and farmers there. We worked to have as much inclusiveness as possible, enabling members of the community to express themselves through activities like yoga and arts and crafts. We even had a stage for music! This project has been around for five years now and it is still really thriving, especially during the pandemic. It’s such an essential resource! It taught me so much about the value of people having a space to be included in and to come together.

Why did you decide to create Landscape For Humanity?

Soon after, within the same neighborhood, I got involved with a housing cooperative called Emerald Village Eugene. This project was started by a non-profit called SquareOne Villages. It’s a tiny house community with 22 tiny homes. I worked with a landscape contractor to build all the landscape around it including rain gardens, and contributed to fund and design a community urban agriculture area. Through the whole project, I was able to work on the ground with the residents. They helped me the whole time define the landscape. On my end, I was trying to facilitate them in taking the lead and ownership of their landscape. They helped me build the entire thing actually they did a lot of the labor. The last portion to be finished was just a few days before social distancing with COVID and that was the community agriculture area, where we built a greenhouse and planted a bunch of vegetable seeds. Through having the stay-at-home order, they were able to grow their fresh produce which fed the entire community. This was such a profound experience, working with people and building their own gardens. And that whole experience inspired a lot of the work for Landscape for Humanity, regarding designing and installing edible landscapes with and for vulnerable communities.

What is the mission of Landscape For Humanity?

We work with landscape to create spatial changes that support social and environmental justice. Landscape For Humanity was started as a collaboration between the work that I was doing at Emerald Village and a group of professors at the University of Oregon in the Landscape Architecture department. The professors began collaborating because they were researching and teaching about productive landscapes in terms of food, water and energy, with a focus on providing these resources to under-resourced communities. To make a project like this happen, you have to be on the ground with the communities, and that’s where I came in. This collaboration enables the benefit of working with a brilliant, connected research team to most thoughtfully design and collaborate with the community on the ground.

How many projects are you working on through Landscape For Humanity?

Currently, we are working on three projects. In addition to the Emerald Village which I mentioned, we are working on a project at Opportunity Village in Eugene as well. While the Emerald Village provides permanent housing, the Opportunity Village focuses on transitional housing with less infrastructure. It is for a population that is only there for a short period of time. Within that village we are building greywater filtration and smart irrigation systems to improve quality of life. Currently the site does not have that much vegetation, so we are also creating gardens while simultaneously cleaning the water. The third project is in Lima, Peru. It is similar to the second project with the development of bio-filtration in order to create a sustainable sanitation system. In all three of these projects the goal is to design and build with and for the community. With the social focus at the foundation, the projects are much more resilient and equitable.

What is your vision for the future of Landscape For Humanity?

I see Landscape For Humanity as a resource for landscape designers who want to do projects with communities, even if these are difficult projects to put in place. When I started my career, I did not receive much organizational support to design landscapes with communities. I foresee a core role of Landscape for Humanity as helping to fill this gap by supporting landscape designers with resources, research, and a network of support for their more social and environmental justice driven ideas.

How do you feel about winning the Simone Awards?

I’m really excited! This award could not have come at a more perfect time. Especially with all the changes in the world, it’s just great to have a foundation to help us build this non-profit and move forward. I believe that this work is more needed now than ever, and these funds will definitely allow important projects to flourish.

How will the Simone Awards contribute to the cause?

One thing we are really in a place to develop now is getting the non-profit aspect going, so that we can actively push the projects on the ground and work with the communities themselves. This award will help fund and develop the non-profit side, which is what I will be focusing on. We will be able to take time to look at where we are right now, consider all the recent changes in the world, build new partnerships, and develop our vision. We have the capacity to help and develop future on-the-ground projects. Something we discussed recently is that with Covid-19, we have the knowledge and the resources to create more sanitation-related projects. We were discussing, for instance, how to make public handwashing stations while creating better public spaces. This grant will help us fund opportunities like this.

Meet Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke - 2020 Simone Awards winner
Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke - 2020 Simone Awards winner

LINDSEY NEFESH-CLARKE - FOUNDER OF WOMEN’S WORLDWIDE WEB

Women’s WorldWide Web (W4) is an online crowdfunding platform aiming to promote girls’ and women’s empowerment worldwide, in cities and in rural areas, in both developing and developed countries. As the founder of W4, Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke is entirely dedicated to this mission.

Lindsey, what was your journey before you founded Women’s WorldWide Web (W4)?

Well, to give you some background, all my adult life I have been defending human rights and doing humanitarian work, but prior to Women’s WorldWide Web I was not working in tech at all. It was in 2010, when I was working on the island of Cebu, in the center of the Philippines archipelago, that I was first struck by the power of ICTs (Information & Communication Technologies) to accelerate girls’ and women’s empowerment. I was managing a humanitarian program to provide education, healthcare and other services for children and families living in absolute poverty. These families were squatting in a cemetery, literally living among the tombstones, with no access to electricity, running water, or sanitation. My work focused on enabling girls and young women to attend school and college because, sadly, girls were the ones most often excluded from education. Although the girls and young women in our program were succeeding brilliantly in their studies, my team and I observed that they lacked the IT skills required to obtain formal employment. Needless to say, these girls had never had access to computers. So, we set up an IT vocational training center right there, next to the cemetery. Giving the girls and young women access to IT skills and qualifications, ranging from digital literacy to more advanced skills, proved a powerfully effective way to help them obtain safe, formal employment and access the increasing employment opportunities offered in the Philippines, notably in the country’s growing IT-BPM sector.

What is the mission of Women’s WorldWide Web?

Today, the majority of the more than 3.5 billion people who are digitally excluded, with no access to internet, are girls and women. So, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure girls’ and women’s digital inclusion and equality. If there has ever been a time when we have seen the importance of digital inclusion, it is now, during this pandemic. In the Philippines, we provided girls and women with educational opportunities, but we saw that tech skills are increasingly indispensable, both for daily life and for accessing safe, formal employment. The majority of jobs today require digital skills, and certainly the jobs of tomorrow will (it’s estimated that almost 90% of future jobs will require basic IT skills). As soon as I became aware of this need, and this “global digital gender divide” and its harmful effects, I knew I needed to do something — and that was the origin of Women’s WorldWide Web. I have always been inspired by the resilience and resourcefulness of the heroic people I’ve met around the world, many of them seemingly ordinary girls and women who end up capable of extraordinary achievements. What is wonderful is that girls and women, if you give them access to technologies and digital skills, are able to create their own solutions to some of the biggest challenges their local communities face. This immense potential is what drives us at W4 and makes us so passionate about what we do.

What are the upcoming projects for Women’s WorldWide Web?

W4 was founded in 2012. It is still a relatively young organization but we have come quite a long way. Today, we are a partner of the UN coalition EQUALS, which promotes girls’ and women’s digital inclusion and equality. We’re determined to contribute, as best as we can, to closing the global digital gender gap and to enabling girls and women to have access to technologies and tech skills.

How do you feel about winning a Simone Award?

Our team is thrilled about this award! I love its spirit and values. I’ve read Julie Carabello-Baum’s interview about her inspiration for founding the awards several times: it resonates deeply with what we do at Women’s WorldWide Web. In the interview, Julie Carabello-Baum eloquently highlights the dedication and commitment needed to start and grow impactful initiatives that can support other women and promote their empowerment. These values — of positive impact, dedication, and commitment to a meaningful cause — are clearly important to the Carabello-Baum family, and they are vitally important to us at W4. Julie speaks of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” That phrase really struck me. Our work at Women’s WorldWide Web is about promoting girls’ and women’s empowerment through technologies (Sustainable Development Goal 5b). We work to ensure girls’ and women’s digital inclusion, so they have access to technologies and tech skills. Access to digital technologies and skills is indispensable if one is to fully participate in our increasingly digitized societies and economies. Within the frame of W4’s work, I have met so many seemingly ordinary girls and women around the world doing extraordinary things, and often in unimaginably challenging circumstances: girls and women from very marginalized, disadvantaged communities succeeding in their education and training, lifting their families out of poverty, contributing to the development of their communities, generating innovative solutions that harness tech to help their communities. It’s incredibly inspiring to see how people, when given the opportunity (as the girls and women in our programs are), can create extraordinary positive change. So, I feel very honored, because I deeply admire the nature of this award and the approach of the Carabello-Baum family to their work in general. Julie also emphasizes that there are many people around the world doing great things and that the Simone Awards seek to shine a light on those people. It’s heartening that this award is shining a light on initiatives like Women’s WorldWide Web. By extension, the Simone Awards are shining a light on the extraordinary girls and women in W4’s programs around the world.

How will this award contribute to Women’s WorldWide Web’s cause?

This award will contribute to two important programs. The first one is promoting women-led projects that harness technology to protect the environment and enable communities to adapt to climate change. The second is an exciting project that we are part of, in partnership with the UN coalition EQUALS, providing free IT skills training for girls and women around the world. I think these projects really chime with the award and its focus on positive social and environmental impact! I would like to add that the Simone Award is particularly special to our team thanks to the values that underly its origin and the work of Château de Pommard, which is about respecting the environment while developing the art of winemaking, and recognizes what hard work and dedication are required to cultivate the vineyards. The Simone Award conveys all this and the uplifting values of the Carabello-Baum family. Technology can be an enabler for so many things, and it is beautifully apt that, at Women’s WorldWide Web, we are stepping up our focus on enabling girls and women, through technology, to play a key role in protecting the environment and creating initiatives to protect the planet and help communities to adapt to climate change. The Simone Award will contribute to this.

The 2020 Simone Awards winners revealed

2020 Simone Awards Winners
2020 Simone Awards Winners

Three inspiring women behind great causes

Château de Pommard and the Simone Awards Board have unveiled the 2020 Simone Awards winners. Launched in 2018 by Famille Carabello-Baum and Château de Pommard, the Simone Awards celebrate and support women-led causes everywhere in the world. Each year, three winners are selected by the Simone Awards Board, based on criteria including the purpose of the cause, its achievements and its future potential. 10% of the annual profits from the sale of Simone, Château de Pommard’s top cuvée, will be donated to the winners’ causes.

The 2020 Simone Awards gathered candidates from diverse backgrounds, such as cancer research in the United Kingdom, childhood protection in the United States and lone-mother support in France. The winners, three amazing women from France and the United States, truly represent the spirit of commitment—selflessly impacting the lives of others and making our world a better place.

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke is the founder of Women’s WorldWide Web (W4), an international non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of girls’ and women’s human rights and empowerment around the world, with a focus on sustainable development. In 2015, Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke was named one of the Inspiring Fifty, Europe’s 50 most inspiring women leaders in the technology sector. When asked about the mission of W4, Nefesh-Clarke elaborated: “At W4, we’re passionate about promoting girls’ and women’s digital inclusion and equality. Investing in this can have a transformative, positive impact: improving individual girls’ and women’s lives and the welfare of entire families, communities and societies!”

Christine Janin is a mountaineer-doctor and the first French woman ever to climb Everest and go to the North Pole. She founded À Chacun Son Everest! in 1994 with the ambition to support children and women with cancer throughout the recovery phase. The association draws on the powerful symbolic parallel between the difficulty of ascending a summit and that of the path to recovery, offering post-cancer stays in Chamonix in the French Alps). In describing the association’s values, Janin said, “À Chacun Son Everest! provides the support needed to regenerate self-confidence for children and women in the post-cancer phase, and transform the ordeal to a real strength”, Christine Janin.

Shelby Meyers uses her landscape design education to serve members of her community. As Field Director at Landscape For Humanity, she is currently working to design and build a landscape at a tiny house village in Eugene, Oregon. “Landscapes can provide so much more than pleasant garden spaces; in these spaces we can also support basic needs such as food, water, and energy thanks to Landscape for Humanity”, Meyers said regarding the inspiration behind the foundation’s mission.

Nominations for the 2021 Simone Awards are now open. The Simone Awards are open to any woman-run cause in any country or sector around the world focused on positive outcomes. Submissions for the 2020 Simone Awards will close in January 2021.

More info about the Simone Awards here: https://www.simoneawards.com

Being a woman in the wine industry

Margot Ducancel

CHÂTEAU DE POMMARD, POMMARD FRANCE,  FRIDAY, MARCH 8TH

Forget about all-male clubs. Over the past decades, women’s interest in wine never stopped growing. After centuries being left out of the loop, they finally reached key positions in the wine industry – with 49% of female employees, Château de Pommard is a perfect example of this shift. The media started covering news about women winemakers, not only because of their gender but of the quality of their wine. Classes were created to educate these new consumers and teach them some tips and history that most men still don’t know about. With their thirst for knowledge, women managed to carve out a place for themselves in a resolutely male universe, where old habits die hard. Yet, being a woman in the wine industry can still be challenging in 2019, and our ambassadors won’t deny it. One of them is French; the other one, American. Both personify our definition of commitment, and believe that empowering women can make the world a better place. They agreed to share their story with us on this International Women’s Day.

 

Margot Ducancel
Meet Margot Ducancel, The Blogger Who Wants To Change The Rules Of The Game

Once an art expert, Margot Ducancel somehow became a wine passionate by accident. Now an established blogger, she launched a wine club entirely dedicated to women held in Paris once every six weeks, where she shares her knowledge and encourages a group of – often shy- wine lovers to express their thoughts and feelings about wine.

 

Margot Ducancel

“With no family ties or connection to the wine industry, I always felt like an outsider in a codified universe. My career in wine became at Artcurial, a world-famous auction company. There was no room in the culture department anymore, my first passion, so I became in charge of wine authentication. The first time I came across a Grand Cru from Bordeaux, I didn’t even know how to spell it! As a young and inexperienced woman in a male environment, it took me a while to feel legitimate and stop sweating anytime I would have to taste alongside a winemaker. It takes some courage to face them! Enrolling into a Wine Marketing and Management program and taking the WSET levels 2 and 3 helped me get more confident. As I fed myself with articles and blog posts to expand my knowledge, I realized that none of the websites I visited were designed for women. At the same time, it stroke me that most of my girlfriends loved wine, but they didn’t have the tools to know it. There came my concept: Du Rouge aux Lèvres is a platform dedicated to women, where I explain the basics of wine with a light and quirky tone. The wine club is the natural continuation of the blog. I love the idea of a women-only circle: behind closed doors, they don’t think twice before asking a question or challenging themselves. Whether they are wine lovers or socialites, they get more confident in their abilities to taste and express their feeling about a wine. Overall, wine knowledge is part of a more global quest of wellbeing and well-eating, resulting in enjoyment.”

Kristie Petrullo
Meet Kristie Petrullo Campbell, The Chef Sommelier Who Believes Gender Shouldn’t be Decisive

3,625 miles away, American entrepreneur Kristie Petrullo Campbell knows how lonely you can feel as a woman in the wine industry. Between 2010 and 2012, she was the Chef Sommelier at Jean Georges in New York City. Back then, she was the only female to hold this title at a three-Michelin starred restaurant in the US, Italy, Germany and France. Now the founder of Petrullo Wine Company, a consulting firm focused on the wine needs of industry professionals, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts created in 2012, she realizes that empowering women and granting them access to wine knowledge may be a huge progress, it’s not an end in itself.

"Things are changing. With more and more women in the wine industry and even a new generation of male sommeliers, the norm is shifting. "

Kristie Petrullo Campbell
“As a woman, there have definitely been instances where I felt discriminated against. Much of time it came from a guest in the restaurant rather than the chefs or managers. As they were looking through the wine list, I would ask if they needed assistance. Some guests would reply “You?”. Another asked “What would your father drink?”. Well, the truth is, my father would drink whatever I would suggest because he doesn’t know that much about wine! It was really frustrating at the beginning, especially as a young woman in this industry. Towards the end of my career as a sommelier, my ego didn’t play as big a role and I got used to it. The more confident I became with my abilities, the less concerned I was about whether the guests wanted to speak with a female. And at the end of the day, I just wanted to sell wine, so if someone had an issue with my gender and asked for one of my male sommeliers, I would send him, period. I still feel the frustration as a consumer, when people systematically hand my husband the wine list. And even though I order the wine, they still pour him a taste! But things are changing. With more and more women in the wine industry and even a new generation of male sommeliers, the norm is shifting. Today, I reached a point in my career where I am no longer treated poorly or doubted, and when there are questions about my background, I think of them as proofs of pure interest, not as an insult. Yes, I have been asked a hundred times how I got to this place? Where did I grow up? What did I study? But I keep a positive outlook, and, as redundant as it can be to give the same answer over and over, I don’t want to shut people out. We have to share our stories if we want them to become the new norm for women; I am actually very proud when I read about a woman succeeding in the wine industry. Yet, when I see an entire wine list dedicated to women winemakers, I am conflicted about it. If the wine is good, why the need to mention it’s made by a woman? I hope that we will get to the point where you pick something for being good, not just because it was made or selected by a male or female. We’re going in the right direction!”
At the Simone Awards Board, we have a dream. We dream that tomorrow, gender won’t be a criterion anymore. We dream that women will help spread the word about wine, just because they love it and are committed to sharing their passion with the world. We dream that women will finally hold more and more key positions in the wine industry, just because they are as good at their job as any other men. Yet, dreaming is not enough. In 2019, women still need support, and this is why Julie Carabello, Château de Pommard propriétaire, created the Simone Awards. Whether it’s in the wine world or any other industry, we believe that encouraging committed women to pursue their actions will help turn the world into a better place. You might know yourself how it feels to be so dedicated to a cause that it consumes your whole being, your every waking moment, and all of your thoughts—even when the world tells you, you’re crazy? You or someone you know may be our next recipient. We are sure somewhere around the world, many special women are living this definition of commitment. Nominations for the Simone Awards 2020 are now open.

2019
SIMONE AWARDS
WINNERS REVEALED

2019 Simone Awards Post

Château de Pommard, Pommard France,  Friday, January 25th

Château de Pommard and the Simone Awards Board have unveiled the 2019 Simone Awards Winners. The three 2019 recipients truly represent the spirit of commitment—selflessly impacting the lives of others and making our world a better place. Whether they run a non-profit initiative, a foundation or a research collaborative, each of these women-led causes is engaged in making a positive difference in the world around them.

Julie Carabello

"These women deserve to have the spotlight. They deserve our support. What they do every day to impact the lives of others, in a meaningful way, represents the spirit of commitment.”

Julie Carabello, Creator of the Simone Awards and PropriÉtaire of Château de PommarD

Based in South-Africa, Canada, and California, Hanli Prinsloo, Nathalie Hazan, and Stori Oates are symbolic of women around the world who challenge the status quo on a daily basis. The Simone Awards was conceived to recognize and help women continue their pursuit of a better world. 10% of the annual profits from the sale of Simone, Château de Pommard’s top cuvée, is being donated to the winners’ causes.

Hanli Prinsloo
Photo credit: Charlie Dailey

“Working in ocean conservation is often both relentless and lonely. I feel like we are not alone.”

Hanli Prinsloo, Founder & CEO of I Am Water

Our first honoree is a fearless educator of the ocean’s importance and beauty. Once a record-breaking free diver, she founded I Am Water in 2010 to increase access to the ocean for South-African youth. The program enables young South Africans to take their place in the local ecosystem and protect the global oceans on a long-term basis. “Being recognized as a recipient of the Simone Awards is both inspiring and humbling and makes me feel like we are not alone in the work we do. I love the commitment to the land, water, quality and history the Château de Pommard team puts into Simone. as a true Capetonian, my two great loves are the ocean and good wine – I am honored to be a part of this beautiful story!” We are excited to contribute to I Am Water’s continued growth.

Nathalie Hazan's work

“The next generation can see gender, race, and condition, not as the substance of who we are but rather the potential of who we can be. I feel especially privileged to receive the Simone Award in recognition and support of my passion.”

Nathalie Hazan, Founder & President of Raison d’Art

As she collaborates with schools in Canada, France, Switzerland, Israel or Hong-Kong using art and technology to prevent violence, Nathalie always keeps her most significant commitment at heart: humanity. “I am an art therapist—artist and psychotherapist, but mostly I am a woman trying to help create a world where peace prevails. The next generation can see gender, race, and condition, not as the substance of who we are but rather the potential of who we can be”, she said. Being a recipient of the Simone Awards “is a gift beyond imagination for Raison d’Art‘s cause. I feel especially privileged to be part of an award that tells the tales of women who are so passionate about their causes that they dedicate their lives. The stories of women and their battles won and lost, and of the treasure granted through Château de Pommard. The Simone Awards will drive me to shape the future of Raison d’Art with the same exceptional dedication with which it was granted.”

Stori Oates

“It is exhilarating and humbling. It is truly an honor to named as an inaugural recipient of the Simone Award. I so appreciate the efforts of the Château Pommard team to recognize and elevate the critical work that women around the world are doing in the service of such important causes"

Stori Oates, MARC Program Director
With a special focus on young women, who continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, Stori caught the eye of the Simone Awards board. “I so appreciate the efforts of the Château Pommard team to recognize and elevate the critical work that women around the world are doing in the service of such important causes, and to be included in this remarkable group of pioneers is both exhilarating and humbling.” In just three years, our research collaborative has grown from a pilot with five students to a highly competitive program where students collaborate with mentors from a variety of institutions government agencies, non-profits, and universities. “This award not only recognizes the work we are doing with the MARC program to provide research opportunities to high school students and empower underrepresented groups within the broader scientific community but will help support students as they tackle real-world issues and work to create a better world for all.“

“In a world where celebrities, athletes, and influential people have a platform and the means to raise awareness for their causes, women who are making a real difference don’t have the podium. It's these individuals who look outside themselves and do things without expecting anything in return that make the world a better place. We want to celebrate, support, and shine a light on them"

Julie Carabello

Do you know how it feels to be so dedicated to a cause that it consumes your whole being, your every waking moment, and all of your thoughts—even when the world tells you, you’re crazy? You or someone you know may be our next recipient. We are sure somewhere around the world; there are many special women living this definition of commitment. Nominations for the Simone Awards 2020 are now open.

SIMONE
2016
IS HERE

Simone bottle

CHÂTEAU DE POMMARD, POMMARD FRANCE, FRIDAY, JANUARY 25TH​

OUR ULTIMATE COMMITMENT

Simone 2016, the new vintage of Château de Pommard’s iconic wine, is now available. With 1,800 bottles produced in the most generous years, Simone is our rarest cuvée—available by allocation only. The 2016 vintage reveals a fragrant nose, a fresh palate, and a long, silky finish. Simone is an intense, rich and complex Pinot Noir, born from a 0.48-hectare plot of remarkable terroir that embodies our ultimate commitment. Every day Simone inspires us to dream, work hard and embrace every season and vintage with the same spirit and energy.

Simone bottle

A REMARKABLE TERROIR

The delicacy, intensity, and structure of a red wine strongly depend on the quality of the internal surface of clay contained in the soil. The higher the internal density, the more a vineyard can produce grand cuvées. With an internal surface density of 730 square meters per gram, Simone is close to the world record of the Grand Crus from Côte de Nuits.

Somm
“Simone has an expressive nose. On the palate, it is both velvety and elegant. The tannins are silky while its structure is straight and suave. Simone 2016 presents real accessibility to the vintage.”

Laurent Roucayrol
Head Sommelier, Plaza Athénée, Paris

MADE BY NATURE

In 2015, we began our biodynamic journey in the Clos Marey-Monge. Starting with Simone, we replaced the machines with horses, plowing the soils the traditional way, pruning the vines by hand, gently harvesting the grapes, and aging the wine in French oak barrels from the forests surrounding Burgundy. We banned chemicals, and in place, we are now benefitting from all-natural preparations. It is in Simone that we first witnessed the vines getting stronger, with one-hundred-year-old stocks demonstrating more vigor, and the ability to fight pests and diseases on their own. We have seen the wines become more honest and energetic, displaying extra intensity on the nose and vibration on the. We are convinced this is a better way to make wine.

Horse in a vineyard

THE SOUL OF OUR DOMAIN

We believe a wine must reveal what Mother Nature intended. Our commitment to minimize human intervention and let nature take its course, is a long-term commitment, in the vineyard and the cuverie. During our fermentation process, we interfere as little as possible, allowing the tannins to extract themselves naturally. We obtain a perfectly balanced wine, approachable now, but ready to age and mature for the next two decades. Simone is a rich and concentrated pinot noir that reveals the soul of our domain.

Simone bottle

OUR RAREST CUVÉE

As often in Burgundy, Simone is available on allocation only. Clients who already purchased previous Simone vintages are automatically enrolled. Aren’t you on the list yet? Join the waitlist today to be the first in line to access any unclaimed bottles of this iconic wine as of February 25th.