Wine Country is an all-female wine club in a small, mostly rural town of 5,000 in Ontario, Canada.
For some, the term has a derogatory connotation, referring to its women as “the women of wine.”
A recent CBC article titled “Why the term Wine Country sounds so terrible,” by Claire Wroblewski, explores the history and culture of the term.
The word “wine country” came into being as a joke and a way to insult women, says Anne Fong, a Toronto-based lawyer and author who has written about the history of the word.
“In our society, we talk about men as the main producers of wine, the main drinkers, the leaders of the community.
But it’s a stereotype of women that they’re the women who don’t have the skills to be successful,” Fong says.
“We don’t want to have that stereotyping.
The reason that people have it in their heads is because they’re looking at the stereotypes of men who are the main producer, the primary drinkers and the leaders, who are often seen as the dominant, dominant, dominating men.”
Wroblowski points out that in the 1960s, there was a concerted effort to remove any mention of wine from the English language, and this was particularly successful in the United States, where women were less likely to be identified as producers of or drinkers of wine than men were.
“It was the way that society was structured and the way it was communicated, and so people could identify with those stereotypes of the dominant men, and that meant that it became very clear to everyone that we needed to have a separate language for men,” Fonowski says.
The club has since evolved from being an all women’s wine club to being a women-only wine club.
Fong’s book, Women in Wine Country: A History of Wine Country in Ontario from Early Times to Present, tells the story of the club.
It focuses on the impact of the wine country movement on women in Ontario and beyond.
Fonowlski says the word is still used to denote an area in which a woman is a primary producer or main drinker of wine.
“There’s a reason that it’s still used,” Fung says.
Fongs book tells the history, history and story of wine country in Ontario.
“What I think the story should be told is that the term ‘wine country’ came from a joke that was meant to be offensive, to be a joke about women, and to mock the women that were doing the work and making wine.”
The term “wine nation” originated in the mid-19th century in the American South.
It referred to areas that were mostly rural and where the majority of people were white.
It was a derogatory term for the white women who worked in the fields, she says.
In the early 1900s, the word was used to describe the white male wine drinkers, but it also referred to the women’s drinkers, which is what “wine society” is now, Fong adds.
“The women that would go to the vineyards, the women working in the vineyard, the woman who made wine, would be the ones who would be called ‘wine people,'” Fong explains.
In 1910, the wine community began to grow and diversify as women started to move to the cities and cities began to move into the wine industry.
Fons book details how this diversification affected the business of wine and the industry.
“Wine country was very much a women’s club, it was predominantly all-white,” Fons author says.
It has a history of women not being successful in their careers, Fonwlski adds.
And there were a lot of white women, particularly in the manufacturing industry, and they were not making as much money as the white men who were the primary producers and the primary drinkers.
“If you go to a factory in Toronto, there are white women in every room,” Fongs author says, referring specifically to women in the wine production industry.
The business of producing wine became a very male-dominated industry, Fons writes.
Women were the sole producers, and there was less diversity in the workplace.
Women working in manufacturing had to be paid the same wages as men, Fongs says.
And as the women moved into the industry, they would often take on more responsibility.
FONWLSKI: The history of wine in the South, the influence of the men, that is the beginning of the ‘wine revolution’ of the early 20th century.
And the women had to take on this new responsibility of making wine, which was not their job.
FONG: In the 1930s, women began to leave the wine world and to enter the workforce in the factories, she explains.
FONS: The ‘wine’ of that time, it had to do with the use of chemical and physical force