As team consisting of our mom and sisters, we founded Distaff (which means “women’s work”) to share our story, our experiences and our passion for wine.
We have each individually been behind the scenes in the many facets of the wine world for the majority of our lives and, before we can even remember, our parents have owned a winery in the Pacific Northwest. Our earliest memories were in the vineyard and as winery cellar hands but that eventually emerged into more jobs based on our interest. We’ve done it all from pulling weeds, planting vines and sorting grapes to analyzing wine in the lab, running tasting rooms, and marketing and sales. That is the cool thing about the wine industry – there are many roles and diverse jobs!
When we tell people that we grew up on a vineyard and spent our summers working in the vineyard and winery, the usual response is something like “wow, what a dreamy childhood”. But it was a lot of tough work and a lot of dirt! We would be covered at all times in a layer of dust from the vineyard and completely exhausted from early mornings and taxing physical work. But we also feel pride in what our work helped build and now, when we drink certain wines, memories of working in the vineyard will pop into our minds. Malbec, for example, is that one dusty lot on the hill where we needed to watch out for rattlesnakes and that we needed to prune more often. The newer vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon brings back memories of the summer that we planted the whole hillside with new baby vines. Planting days started at 5AM in freezing 40 MPH winds and usually ended at 3PM at 95 degrees so those memories really stick with us!
To us, wine was always familiar and fun, part of our life. But sometimes this part is missing in the wine industry and replaced with “wine etiquette” and awards. We often felt dictated to about how and why we should enjoy certain wines, with the emphasis less on creating a conversation and learning and more about stiff rules and tradition. We created Distaff to make unique, fun wines, share our stories and to hear what you have to share with us.
Now, we are a wine making team and we focus on making single varietal wines and the “less know” varietals like Blaufrankisch and Cinsaut. We all still wear many hats and love doing it! All of labels are drawn by our sister, Me-Z, who (fun fact) is also in the Navy.
Cheers! Angelica, Brigid, Moira, and Me-Z O’Reilly.