Shop All Wines

checkout View Cart ()

The Women Behind Our Wines

DeLille Cellars Winemaking team is made up of some of the most talented, and hardworking women in the industry. We’d like to take a moment to celebrate their extraordinary dedication and constant pursuit of excellence to this beloved craft. Below, read their stories, and gain more insight into the women behind our wines:


Mari Rossi

A love for math and science initially drew Assistant Winemaker Mari Rossi to enology and viticulture while attending Cornell University. The summer before her senior year, Mari had the opportunity to work at a winery in Walla Walla, which deepened her passion to explore a winemaking career. In 2011, Mari graduated with a BS in Enology and Viticulture and set off on an adventure chasing harvest in Sonora, Napa, and New Zealand. Ending up back in her hometown in the Seattle area, she worked her fifth harvest at DeLille Cellars in 2014 as our full-time enologist, and in 2020 became our Assistant Winemaker.

Looking back on her time in winemaking Mari feels like her first harvest was only yesterday, reflecting that “I realize how lucky I am to have found an industry that I love and a job at DeLille where I work with people who make coming to work every day enjoyable and energizing. As I progress in my career, I want to continue to work towards a more diverse and inclusive industry, while also showing the world the incredible wine that can be grown and produced in Washington State.” 

Mari’s favorite moments in the cellar centralize around the harvest season and spending time with her team. “Although it is a crazy time, it is also the most rewarding, especially being able to share it with the people you have just been dominating with for the past few months.

For women entering the field, Mari shared some words of advice: “I definitely suggest finding a community of other women or a mentor to connect with as you embark on your wine journey. It is super important to be able to relate to, learn from, and connect with people who are going through a similar experience, and it is also essential to uplift and support them as they navigate the same space. Bringing others up with you as you grow is imperative to paving the way for those who come through next.

Sarah Jackson

Sarah Jackson is our Cellar Manager at DeLille Cellars. Sarah’s first harvest was inspired by her husband, who while working a DeLille Cellars internship, would come home raving about his days. Deciding she wanted in on the action, Sarah joined him for the 2019 harvest at DeLille. Falling in love with the fast-paced challenges of winemaking and the satisfaction of creating something so exemplary with her own hands, Sarah decided to pursue winemaking as a career path.

From there, Sarah harvest-hopped to Australia before returning to DeLille to further her career in the cellar. Since then, Sarah reflects on her time with DeLille as a period of growth in all facets, from wine, and winemaking knowledge, to understanding what her body and mind are capable of. “Working harvest tests you in new ways every year, and overcoming the challenges inherent in a hectic schedule, long hours, and tough physical work has been an incredible learning experience.

Sarah’s favorite moments in the cellar each year are the first days they receive fruit and the last days of pressing. She says that “the energy in the cellar when we get first fruit is electric anticipation” due to the long months of planning that have gone into that moment, “And of course, there are few better feelings than final press day when you know the long hours and hard work of harvest are behind you, and you can look forward to turning off your 4 AM alarm the next day.

This 2023 harvest holds a special place in Sarah’s heart, as one week before the harvest began she found out she was pregnant with a daughter, her and her husband’s first child. A constant companion through the hard labor of harvest, Sarah notes that “To date, she is the youngest intern to ever work in the cellar, and I think she did a phenomenal job on her first vintage.

Sarah’s advice to women seeking roles in the field is “Don’t let other’s (or your!) preconceived notions of your capabilities sway you from giving it a shot. Women are strong and capable, and our voices and skills are needed in this industry. Start by reaching out to wineries, local or abroad, to ask for harvest positions. They’re a great way to get experience and find out if this career is right for you, not to mention, it’s a ton of fun!

Page Kafonek

Page Kafonek is our Enologist here at DeLille Cellars. Having started her career in the restaurant industry, lead to a natural interest in wine. While undergoing sommelier training one of Page’s mentors joked that she wouldn’t last more than a day in the cellar, “so obviously [she] had to prove him wrong”. After participating in her first harvest, Paige found her love of the cellar and winemaking.

Reflecting on her time with DeLille, Page says that “I’ve really been able to make it my own journey here. We’re involved in every aspect of the winemaking process and I’ve always been encouraged to take any particular subject or process that peaks my interest and run with it.

All of Page’s favorite cellar memories revolve around laughing and commiserating with the team, “Got sprayed in the face with wine? Hilarious. Accidentally ran into a pole with the forklift? Amazing. This job is messy and a lot of hard work so you really need to learn the ability to just laugh it off and not take anything too seriously. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy my coworkers and everyone’s spirit and passion they bring to the team.

Page’s advice to women seeking positions in the winemaking field is to not hesitate! “There are so many different cellar responsibilities that require a range of skills. I’ve worked harvest with interns from all sorts of industry backgrounds and everyone always has something they bring to the table.

Sophie Louaillier

Sophie is one of our amazing Cellar Leads here at DeLille. Sophie’s first experience with winemaking was through a harvest internship with DeLille in 2020. Having no idea what to expect, she fell in love with the work. In 2021 she was asked to return for a second harvest, after which she was hired on as a full-time member of our cellar staff. 

Sophie looks at her time at DeLille with pride and fondness, remarking that “The people I have had the opportunity to meet and work with have been a highlight of my time in winemaking. Through new experiences and challenging harvests, I have grown exponentially in my confidence and learning. I’m proud to be able to look back and see all that I have been able to accomplish, both personally and professionally, because of my experiences in winemaking.” 

One of Sophie’s favorite experiences in the cellar comes from her first year as a harvest intern while doing manual cap management on a 3000-gallon tank. The other intern Sophie was working with at the time pulled a little too hard and “the wand popped out of the valve and fermenting wine came shooting out, drenching her from head to foot. I stood there just staring at the whole situation, I think my jaw was on the floor. Everything ended up being fine, but just goes to show you that you need to be prepared for anything in the cellar!

Sophie’s advice for anyone even remotely interested in working in wine or doing a harvest is to just take the leap and try it. “It’s an intense couple of months, but worth it if you end up loving it!

Matilda Schroeter

Matilda Schroeter is one of our talented Cellar Leads here at DeLille. Matilda was introduced to wine at an early age by her father, a California Winemaker. Her childhood memories of running around the cellar, and seeing the bonds wine could create between friends and family inspired her to pursue this career.

This March will mark Matilda’s one-year anniversary with DeLille, which she considers to be a great experience so far. “I have learned a great deal from the strong group of folks in our winemaking team. I’m really looking forward to year two and continuing to grow, professionally and personally, from my time here.

A particularly favorite memory for Matilda came from a day when she, the other cellar leads, and harvest interns took fruit samples from vineyards. “We piled into a Mercedes van, sun was shining and we were all chatting about ourselves and the excitement of harvest to come. Being out amongst the ripening vines together was one of those days where I just looked around and thought, dang I have a pretty cool job.

Matilda’s advice for anyone pursuing a career in wine to to work a harvest. She says it’s a great way to see if you enjoy the work, and that it gives better insight into how wineries function. “Every winery needs help during harvest and there are ample opportunities to get your feet wet!

Kaitlyn Neuenschwander

Kaitlyn Neuenschwander is our newest full-time cellar staff member. Kaitlyn started her winemaking journey through a viticulture class at Washington State University. Loving it so much, Kaitlyn took the leap to change majors and hasn’t looked back since. Since then Kaitlyn has worked various winemaking roles in exciting places like Australia, making some of her best friends along the way. 

While still new to DeLille, Kaitlyn reflects upon her time here fondly. A particular favorite memory for her “has been all the harvest lunches together after a long day, especially a seafood boil we had!

Kaitlyn’s advice to women seeking similar roles or career paths in winemaking is “ to just go for it and follow your passions! There are so many women in the industry to support you!

Keep Exploring The Blog