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Shannon Landis
March 8, 2024 | Shannon Landis

A Tribute To Women’s History Month ~ Our Favorite Leaders

March is Women’s History Month, a moment when we celebrate the women who have helped build our nation. The theme for 2024 is “Women who advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion” ~ the very mantra our CEO, Janis Akuna, has chanted as part of the culture for Andis Wines since she founded the winery with her husband, Andy Friedlander. 

Today we’d like to share a list of some amazing women we work with ~ some farmers, small business owners, as well as talented artists and artisans.

Janis Akuna

As our CEO and Executive Winemaker, she is one of the minorities trailblazing the way for women working in the wine industry; however, being a minority within an industry is not new to her. 

Before establishing Andis Wines, Janis worked at a prominent Wall Street firm for more than 40 years as a Certified Financial Planner and Wealth Advisor ~ an industry she comments as “dominated” by men. 

After retiring from corporate America and establishing Andis Wines, she decided to earn a winemaking certification from UC Davis. For the past few years she has been working during harvest and assisting our Estate Winemaker, Mark Fowler.

Janis also holds an MBA from the University of Hawaii and is involved with much of the strategic planning at Andis Wines.

Terry Harvey 

Terry is the Vineyard Manager for Andis, as well as the Original Grandpere Vineyard. She acquired the historic Amador County vineyard in the late 1980s, where she has played an intricate role in preserving the old vines ~ documented to be the oldest in California. Growing up as a local farmer’s daughter, she has proven to have the hands and disposition required to keep the vineyard in remarkable shape.

“You’ve probably heard of vineyards where one person claims to know each and every vine, like people. I actually do,” she said.

We are honored to be one of only four wineries she trusts to produce Old Vine Zinfandel from the fruit she so meticulously cares for.

Ann Kraemer 

Some say she farms with the devotion of a monk. Perhaps it is that tenacity that makes her renowned for her fruit at Shake Ridge Ranch in Amador County. She also happens to be among the first female vineyard managers in California. Needless to say, there is a waiting list to buy grapes from the ranch and her standards for who can take care of her “babies” are high. 

Similar to Terry, we’ve earned her trust and we are forever grateful for it. Our Zinfandel 2021 from her vineyard just scored 94 points from Wine Enthusiast. 

Tracey Berkner 

A tireless advocate for our area, Tracey is the driving force behind much of the attention Amador County receives. She and her husband Mark are owners of Taste Restaurant, highly-rated by Zagat and praised by The New York Times for its seasonal chef-driven fare, and might we add, its selection of wines - including two Andis Wines. 

We’ve had the pleasure of partnering with Tracey on a variety of wine pairings. Rest, her boutique hotel, another contribution to our area, is also one of our favorite recommendations for our out-of-town guests.

Ali Ward 

She recently purchased Element Restaurant and the Hanford House Inn in Sutter Creek. She serves two of our wines at the restaurant. Element is one of our favorite local restaurants and is in good hands with Ali. Like Rest, Hanford House is another favorite recommendation we make to our out-of-town guests.

Alissa Brundige and Angela Taylor

The two purchased Annabelle’s Chocolate Lounge in 2021, a local favorite for nearly 20 years. Both have a passion for keeping Annabelle’s vision alive. Not only do they sell some of the best chocolate locally, which we offer at our tasting room as gifts or special pairings, they also give back whenever they can ~ making donations to various organizations and assisting with fundraisers.

Angelika Feldman

Co-owner of Flora & Fauna Provisions, Angelika is an amazing chef and cheesemonger. Flora & Fauna Provisions was among the six finalists in the Calling All Dreamers program, which helps entrepreneurs open businesses in downtown Sacramento. Her dream is now open for coffee, breakfast and lunch.

Angelika and partner, Christopher Lee, have hosted several pop-ups at our winery and are set to shuck some oysters for us March 16th - you’re coming, right?

And the list goes on. The artisans and artists featured at our tasting room….

Heather Barnes, StoneyWear

Miki Namiki, Hand and Mine Creation Jewelry

Jace and Sara Becker, Backroad Beekeeping

Woman-Owned, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. (We serve their Toma Cheese)

They’ve been awarded the official certification from The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) ~ The largest certifier of business owners and entrepreneurs. They were also awarded the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification.

Anje Olmstead, Collage Artist

Jennifer Peart, Landscape Painter

Cathline Berglund, Painter

Annie Galvin, Painter and Collage Artist



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