Maiden Wine Co.

Corinne O'Connor is an American winemaker from the Philadelphia area and currently the youngest winery owner in the UK. Corinne is based in North Dorset and operates as a micro-négociant, collaborating with sustainable grape growers around the UK. She plans to release her first three wines in the summer of 2023, which will showcase the fruit and sense of place, combined with playful and precise winemaking practices.

With over a decade of experience in the wine industry, Corinne pursued her dream of crafting her own wines when she moved to the UK in 2019. She brought with her experience in wine importing, distribution sales, wine sales and marketing, viticulture management, and winemaking consulting. Corinne believes that wine is an inexhaustible subject that continues to fuel her thirst for knowledge and ambitions in the wine trade.

Corinne's winemaking journey began as an account manager for a mid-size Mid-Atlantic fine wine importer. She realised that having many wine certifications doesn't mean much if you don't understand the physical work of making wine. She began a winemaking and viticulture apprenticeship at Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, where she worked under the guidance of winemakers Virginia Mitchell and Miles Basila.

In August 2019, Corinne relocated to the South West of England with her husband and started working at some of the best vineyards and wineries in Dorset. She spent the next two years, including most of the COVID lockdowns, honing her craft. In 2021, Corinne achieved her goal of becoming the youngest independent winery owner in the UK when she bought the property where her home and winery are located.

Corinne produces a mix of still and sparkling wine and doesn't believe in emulating any other part of the world in terms of winemaking style. She sees the south coast of England as being its own region with its unique fruit expressions and therefore doesn’t need to copy another country's wine style. While no wine is truly "natural" or "low intervention," Corinne practises a gentle winemaking philosophy that allows her to work with the fruit of the vintage and requires minimal additions. Corinne's innovative approach to winemaking is to focus on the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into each bottle.

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