Making Waves in Wine: Women in the Luxury Napa Wine World

9 September 2023 | 4:00pm | Sotheby's New York

Sotheby's is thrilled to present three Napa-based women in wine who are making waves through innovation, imagination, and inclusion. Vanessa Conlin, MW, Global Head of Wine Retail at Sotheby’s will discuss with Jaime Araujo of Trois Noix Wines, Schatzi Throckmorton of Relic Wine Cellars, and the author Kelli White of The Wine Center at Meadowood about their individuals journeys in the wine industry and to how it led them to working in the Napa Valley. Please join us for this momentous discussion celebrating the achievements of these panelists and to learn how to encourage more women to make waves in the wine world.

1334 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021


Meet the Panel

Jaime Araujo | Founder, Director of Connections & Strategy, Trois Noix

Jaime’s family has been making world-class wines in Napa Valley for over 25 years and for most of those years, Jaime was actually living abroad in Europe (if you want to know all the juicy details, make sure to ask her when you meet!)

Upon returning to Napa Valley to become a vintner, Jaime wanted to create a wine that would reflect her personal journey, and what she loved most about wine: the people and the sense of community. 

The name “Trois Noix,” which means “Three Nuts,” is an homage to our founder’s love of France and her commitment to using wine as a catalyst for social change.

Schatzi Throckmorton | General Manager, Proprietor, Relic Wine Cellars

Schatzi grew up in the Midwest and caught her family’s passion for wine early on under the tutelage of her great uncle, a wine aficionado. In 1999, she arrived in the Napa Valley for a gap year between her studies in African History at Northwestern and a graduate program at Cambridge. She quickly found her way to Behrens Family Winery where she learned the business-side of the wine industry.

In 2004, Schatzi was promoted to General Manager at Behrens Family Winery, shortly after she and her now husband, Michael Hirby, began making wine for themselves, having launched Relic Wine Cellars in 2001.

Passionate about all things wine (especially Napa and Sonoma, Burgundy and Champagne), Schatzi continues to manage both Relic and Behrens and sits on the board of the Napa Valley Vintners.

Kelli White | Author & Director of Education, The Wine Center at Meadowood

Kelli A. White is the Director of Education for the Wine Center at Meadowood in Napa Valley. Prior to that, her work as a sommelier, first at New York City’s Veritas and then at PRESS in St. Helena, has been covered by many of the wine industry’s top publications, and in 2013 she was named one of Food & Wine’s top sommeliers in the country. Her writing has appeared in World of Fine Wine, GuildSomm, Robb Report, Sommelier Journal, Le Pan, and Vinous, among others. At Vinous, Kelli was a key member of the maps team, and worked with famed Italian cartographer Alessandro Masnaghetti to map many of the appellations of Napa Valley. 

In 2011, she co-founded a small wine brand called Houndstooth and she also made a brief appearance in 2015's documentary Somm II: Into the Bottle. Her book, Napa Valley, Then & Now, was released in November of 2015 and has received enormous critical acclaim, winning both the IACP award for Best New Wine, Beer, or Spirits Book and a Graphis design award. 

In October of 2016, Kelli led a wine tasting seminar at Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women's Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA. Between 2017 and 2019 she worked as Senior Staff Writer at the educational nonprofit GuildSomm, where her writing won her two coveted Roederer Awards. She was nominated for Sommelier/Wine Director of the Year (2017) by Wine Enthusiast magazine, who then named her a top 40 Under 40 wine influencer in 2018. 

On the book front, she contributed to the most recent additions of the World Atlas of Wine and the Oxford Companion to Wine, as well as the Academie du Vin Press works On California, On Champagne, and On Burgundy. In 2021, she was named a member of the Bay Area chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier and she currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Wine Writers' Symposium. Kelli has also made select television and film appearances, including 67 Pall Mall TV and SommTV.

Vanessa Conlin | Global Head of Wine Retail, Sotheby’s

Master of Wine Vanessa Conlin is the Global Head of Wine Retail for Sotheby’s, overseeing all wine e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail, as well as content and Sotheby’s owned labels.

Previously, she was the Chief Wine Officer for Wine Access, a national online wine provider. Vanessa is also the co-creator of Pas de Cheval, a line of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons in collaboration with winemaker Maayan Koschitzky.

Vanessa has served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for several of Napa’s most prestigious luxury estates including Arietta Wines and Dana Estates. Previously she was the wine buyer for two prominent Manhattan wine retailers and the Wine Director for a Manhattan-based wine bar.

As an avid supporter of charitable causes, Vanessa is on the Board of Directors for Jameson Humane, a Napa Valley-based animal rescue and sanctuary, and has chaired the organization’s annual charity wine seven times.

Prior to falling in love with wine, Vanessa worked as a professional musician, performing internationally and on Broadway, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music.

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