MEET MARGARET: Introducing Northern California native and winemaking babe, Margaret Leonardi. Born and raised on a dairy farm surrounded by her family, Margaret is now living her best life as a winemaker for Adorada Wines. At Adorada, Margaret and her team work to create award-winning Pinot Gris and Rose wines inspired by luxury fragrances. Working as a winemaker allows Margaret to blend her passion for entertaining with crafting incredible wines that are as beautiful as they are delicious. This wine is most definitely making her awesome!
What does babes supporting babes mean to you?
To me, it means embracing those who inspire your ambitions, expressing mutual encouragement and showing appreciation and gratitude to those who make an impact on your life.
If you could choose your nickname, what would it be?
As a winemaker and Francophile, I would have to say “Margaux” – reminiscent of the winemaking region in Bordeaux and my name. So French and cool!
What is your spirit animal?
The cat. I’m sweet for the most part, but enjoy the playful opportunities that come with being a little sassy.
What is your proudest babe moment or achievement?
Seeing Adorada on a shelf for the first time. It really brought home all the hard work that had gone into crafting these lovely wines, from the grape to the glass.
What is the most unexpected thing you have in your purse or wallet?
It’s probably no surprise: fruit-flavored everything, from chapstick to gum and Altoids. I try to avoid mint-flavored products, which can throw off my palate for sensory evaluation of my wines.
Tell us about a time where you were faced with a situation that you could have been unkind, but chose to be a babe instead?
Tasting another winemaker’s wine from a challenging vintage year, and finding kind ways to offer constructive options for how to improve it in future vintages. I always aim to be supportive and encouraging of others, while being authentically honest, too.
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t selling anymore?
That’s easy: rainbow sandals.
If you had a yacht, what would be the name of it?
I’d name her “Jo” in memory of my Aunt Joanne, who was an incredible woman and influence in my life and recently passed away from ALS.
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first starting your career?
You are in control of your future, so as long as you put in the hard work and aim to be genuine and dedicated, you’ll get to the place you want to be. And: don’t forget to enjoy the journey – it’s often the best part
What is the best piece of advice you have received now that you are in your career?
Don’t take things personally. We often overlook this important element to a career.
When I dance I look like….
Not as cool as I thought! I discovered this recently as I watched my wedding video.
Tell us about a Babe who has supported you?
My older sister, Elizabeth. She’s ambitious, smart and successful, cares about everything I do and cheers me on in every step of life. She does all this while giving great advice when I need it. She sets the bar high and I aim to emulate her example in my other relationships.
What is your favorite destination to visit?
Every summer before grape harvest I spend a week at my family’s cabin at Ruth Lake, a small and picturesque lake in Northern California. There, I can fully unwind, recharge and reflect on what truly matters.
What is your favorite meal to eat?
There isn’t anything quite like an amazing cheese and charcuterie board--paired with a perfect wine, of course. I especially love how our Adorada Pinot Gris marries with the mildly creamy, tangy flavors of sheep’s milk cheeses. The Rosé is an incredible partner to cured meats like prosciutto.
What is the most fulfilling part of your career?
Watching people enjoy the wines I’ve made!
Where is your favorite place to draw inspiration from?
I get inspiration from being genuine and authentic to my roots, staying true to myself and embracing my surroundings through the myriad experiences life throws my way.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Rosé wine or a bath (or both, simultaneously!).
What quality are you working on yourself right now?
Finding a balance in life and creating ways to physically and mentally relax.
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in business?
Encouraging people to respect my craft and knowledge and to not focus on my age or gender.
If you had an unlimited budget for 2 hours shopping where would you go?
Boutique-hopping in the cute shops here in wine country. This would also allow me to support my local economy.
What is your favorite movie?
I can never decide on a favorite, so I’ll go with a sweet movie I recently watched on my flight to Canada - “Wonder.” It was so special to watch that adorable boy blossom. I cried hysterically, from about two minutes in, until the credits wrapped!
Check out our website www.brunettethelabel.com and put together your favorite outfit!
…Which would pair perfectly with a bottle (or two) of Adorada :)