Woodinville Women in Wine: Carol Parsons

by Shona Milne on March 15, 2011

I decided to do a series of interviews with a few of the women winery owners & winemakers in Woodinville since March is Women’s History Month. I asked each the same questions. This is the second in the series and features Carol Parsons of Red Sky Winery. It was fun to chat with Carol in the barrel room while sipping on her 2007 Serendipity.

Why winemaking? What attracted you?

Carol started off in wine in the 80’s when she decided to open up a wine shop in Magnolia which also had catering and some deli items. Not a lot of wine shop were around in those days and we weren’t drinking the wines that we are today. It did offer a great opportunity to travel and learn about wine all over the world. The downside of the business is that it was seven days a week. Carol’s background include a BA in Business and has done sales and marketing. A neighbor approached her in 1999 about making some garage wine to split up two barrels were made with some help from local winemakers.

Is winemaking still a “man’s world”? Is it positive or negative being a woman in wine?

Carol said that yes, it’s still a man’s world in wine but you just need have confidence in your decisions or it can be hard to convince others. You also have to be able to use the forklift.

Do men and women have a different approach to winemaking?

“Everyone has a different approach to winemaking,” said Carol. Women may be a bit more food oriented in winemaking.

What’s the biggest thing you learned about yourself working in wine?

To have confidence in what you are doing.

What do you see ahead for women in wine?

More and more women are coming in to the business with more of a passion for wine. There is so much to learn.

What’s your best wine advice?

The advice Carol gives is to always try new wines. Carol also suggested to me to try her Red Sky Semillon with Chinese food. I’ve always been stumped on what to pair with Chinese as the flavors and spicyness are all over the place.

What does your future look like?

Right now there won’t be much change with Red Sky. The  production will stay at aobut 1000 cases until her youngest son has grown. She also works about twenty hours a week as a business manager in her husband law firm.

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