Women in Wine Part 4 ft. Ardiç Gursel & Marika Vida

Welcome to part 4 of Women in Wine!

What do you guys think so far? Are you loving the passion, intelligence and drive these women have to forge their own paths? I totallllly am. I get so inspired every time I talk to them. You have to be passionate in wine because it can be a tough industry to work in.

Both ladies today are definitely full of passion for the industry and are doing what they love most.

Keep scrolling to read interviews from Marika Vida-Arnold, the creator of Mom Somm, Phenomenal Femmes Wine dinner, wine director at the Ritz Cartlon and all around amazing woman. She’s so down to earth and encouraging. I get so much from talking to women like her that inspires me to keep being Chel Loves Wine.

We also have Ardiç Gursel, the owner of VInkara wines in Turkey. I was lucky enough to have dinner with Ardiç and taste all of her wines and let me tell you, GO GET SOME TURKISH WINE ASAP. It can seem rare in the United States for a woman to be a winery owner but Ardiç tells me that almost 70% of the wineries in Turkey are owned by women. Hell yes Turkey!

The Wine Director, Educator & Sommelier – Marika Vida-Arnold

How did you get started in wine? 

I have a background in television, film and media, and I worked for this director, he was a big wine buff. We would all sit down after a shoot and he’d open a bottle of Bordeaux and taste it. That was very powerful to me so I started traveling on my own to different wine regions. I always had a position at a restaurant through college that was dealing with wine. I then worked in auction in New York City.

I now have my own consulting company where I have corporate and private clients and my future project (coming soon in 2018!) MomSomm!

How did you start Phenomenal Femmes?

We went from a very successful celebrity chef restaurant at the Ritz Carlton and moved to a more of a hotel restaurant. I knew we needed a theme and a dinner series where the wine list could go with the theme. Phenomenal Femme was my brain child.  I never expected it to go where it did, I’m thrilled that it did. I’ve done 30 of the Phenomenal Femme dinners and I’m hoping to be able to go around the country and host dinners in different places.

Wine programs in New York City are so great so you have to make sure you have something special. I even had all of my wines by the glass at the Ritz Carlton all made by women.

What advice would you give to a woman wanting to break into the world of wine?

I think it’s really important to know what you don’t want to do in the wine industry. Do your research. If you know you don’t want to work in the restaurant business then you shouldn’t be a sommelier. The big question is always “what do you want your life to look like?” and script your life to that. I knew I wanted 80% of my time spent doing presentations and being in front of people. I did not want to be updating another wine list. So I made updating that wine list less and less over time. Do what you love and do what you’re good at.

What’s your go-to wine at the moment?

This is such a hard question for me because I’m just such a white Burgundy freak. It doesn’t matter what other wines I like, I always detour back there. But if I’m going to splurge, it’s going to be on white Burgundy, but if I’m going for value, I’m all over Greek wines right now.

The Owner – Ardiç Gursel of Vinkara Wines

How did you get started in wine? 

I became interested in wine some time ago, while in college, naturally enough. I started to wonder why with such a rich and varied heritage, is Turkish wine not more popular. As time went on I began by looking into grape production in Turkey. I needed to understand whether it was possible to produce world-class wine using indigenous Turkish grapes. We researched the grapes, the climate, the terrain, the chemical composition of the soil and many other variables. Everything we found out was telling me one thing:

Yes! I could do this.

And so it was, and remains my mission to offer our customers something truly unique.

Why did you want to start Vinkara?

From here i established Vinkara,and today we have 200 acres of lush,verdant vineyard in an ideal location.our location is perfect both in terms of landscape, soil composition and our unique micro-climate

At Vinkara, we have successfully reintroduced grapes indigenous to Turkey, to offer full-bodied wines that are not only of the highest quality, but that are intense and abundant of flavour, and that offer our customers something truly exceptional; a new experience that is faithful to the origins of wine.

I’m extremely proud of where we are today. I love what we do, and I love our wine. I sincerely believe we’re at the forefront of world-class wine production within the emerging markets.

What advice would you give to a woman wanting to break into the world of wine?

I don’t think gender matters in a sense that you shouldn’t let your gender define what you think you can do or let people tell you what you can do.

What’s your go-to wine at the moment?

I always love Chateauneuf-du-pape!

You can learn more about Vinkara and Ardiç here.

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  1. This is a pretty cool post! And the photos of these women are very beautiful! I have recently started a love affair with prosecco and with a trip to Italy coming up i am trying to get all the knowledge i can on wine.

  2. Who doesn’t love wine? I love to try news ones and many of them. Pairing them with laughter is the best!