Adrienne and Ashlyn, left to right. Photos by: Leah Meltzer
Winemaking Duo: Adrienne & Ashlyn
We chat with winemakers Adrienne and Ashlyn about their role at The Austin Winery, what it's like to be women in the industry, and how the job influences their personal style. A quintessential dynamic duo and testament to the power of female friendship at work - we are delighted to showcase them as Duos We Admire.
What is your role at the Austin Winery and what does your day-to-day look like?
Adrienne: During harvest, we are either out in the vineyards by 4 am hand harvesting fruit, or we are staying up all night throwing buckets of grapes into the crusher, the press, or transferring wine to their vessels to age. The rest of the year I'm bottling wines, topping barrels, blending wines, bartending, or coordinating events. Every day is different!
Ashlyn: It’s really a toss up! During harvest in the late summer months we work long hours picking, de-stemming, or crushing grapes, and then do a lot of cleaning and organizing. During the week, I do all the photography and social media for the winery, as well as assistant winemaking!
What is your favorite part about the job?
Adrienne: Harvest. There is something really rewarding about harvest tasks. I enjoy working as a team to get the grapes to glass and the comradery.
Ashlyn: Learning about winemaking, which has become my passion in the last few years and meeting so many people who have knowledge that I don’t and taste profiles different from mine!
How has winemaking influenced your style choices?
Adrienne: When I’m winemaking or doing factory tasks I want clothes that are comfortable, durable and give me confidence. When I’m in the tasting room, I enjoy switching it up and highlighting my femininity. It’s a great job because I can highlight both sides of myself!
Ashlyn: It has definitely brought out my tomboy side more in my everyday life. I love comfy clothes that I can move around in and not feel like I’m constricted.
We love seeing what HarperSage pieces you're wearing! Can you share what influenced your choices?
Adrienne: I’ve always loved a badass woman in a jumpsuit. It's powerful to me and gives me confidence that the woman wearing it is going to get the job done! I could easily wear The Utility Jumpsuit to dinner or drinks to pull off that cool Austin vibe.
On that note, which one of our new wine totes would you use for your wine and why?
Adrienne: Definitely the cowgirl one. Texas, baby!
Ashlyn: Definitely the cowgirl one. I grew up hanging out on my grandpa’s cattle ranch, and I've have always had a soft spot for that aesthetic.
At HarperSage, we celebrate duality and the idea of embracing both strength and vulnerability. Can you talk about how you tap into both to succeed on the job, especially in your male-dominated field?
Adrienne: I’ve been in the wine industry for almost 5 years, and I found embracing both is a way to excel. Women are the main consumers of wine, and I strongly believe women should be the main producers in every field.
Ashlyn: It's definitely a male-dominated field, and I think that’s why it’s so important for women to be involved. Women have a little more of a nurturing nature, which I think translates into helping customers find wine they’re interested in. Also, women generally have a higher count of taste buds, which makes us very good wine tasters!
If you weren’t a winemaker, what do you think you would be pursuing?
Adrienne: I would open an art gallery. I’ve always loved the creativity of others and would love to help curate art shows. Other than that, maybe just not work and live a nomadic lifestyle, but gotta pay the bills! C’est la vie.
Ashlyn: I used to be a biochemistry major and wanted to go into entomology or genetics. It’s cool how much my knowledge from that education and experience overlaps with winemaking and vineyard management. I had also considered a job being a professional photographer, so I love that I get to bring that passion for photography to this job.
What’s one fact or hobby you enjoy that people would be surprised to learn?
Adrienne: In college I was a black bear research assistant one summer. My job was to safely catch and release black bears in the Tahoe Basin region in California. My boss and I sedated, strapped tracking collars, and released eight black bears in order to learn about their home ranges.
Ashlyn: I love ice fishing. I’ve been going every year with my dad and his best friends since I was 21!
Are you two considered a dynamic duo? Tell us what working together is like!
Adrienne: Hell yes! I had worked with a primarily male team, and when Ashlyn got the job I was so excited to finally have another girl in the group! She’s a very talented, creative, caring, smart person and has helped our business grow significantly. She is a great addition to the team, and I’m so proud to call her a best friend!
Ashlyn: We absolutely are! Adrienne mentored me and has encouraged me from the beginning. We became such good friends early on that we even went on a trip together when we had only known each other for about a month and a half. It’s nice having another woman around to lift me up and help me through my insecurities, but who can also give me a hair tie or perfume if I need it. I’m very lucky to have her!