Artisan Faith: A Grape Adventure
“When you create, all the hard work is worth it in the end,” says Faith Hatcher.
Meet Faith Hatcher, winemaker and champion of women.
Faith’s path to the artisan craft of winemaking began in college where she studied biology and chemistry, prerequisites for her future as a physician. While registering for classes for the upcoming semester, Faith got a gut feeling that becoming a doctor was not her destiny. She decided not to register for courses that semester and to pursue, instead, her passion: wine.
“I had always worked at wineries while in college and loved wine. I know it is cliche — everybody loves wine. But I wanted to learn the chemistry side; I was interested in how it was made,” Faith says. This burning curiosity led Faith to ask for an internship at the Southern Indiana winery where she was working at the time.
“My first week as an intern was during the harvest, which is the craziest time of the year. You work 12- to 14-hour days, seven days a week. The work is mentally and physically exhausting — that was my intro. But when you create, all the hard work is worth it in the end. The final product is so rewarding. I got hooked on that feeling of creating a tangible product that people love.”
Faith soon relocated to Oregon, where she worked at an organic winery, but eventually made her way back to Indiana to Huber’s Orchard & Winery, where she is the only female winemaker on staff. Women make up only a fraction of the industry, so Faith has now dedicated herself to forming a support system for other women in the field.
“I’ve had to do a lot of work to get my team to treat me like an equal. I’ve had to have some serious conversations about the definition of mansplaining. No one acknowledges the dark undertones of the industry. I wondered how many women felt alone like I did, so I started a group, Women Winemakers of the Midwest, to form some connections.”
Now, 17 members strong, Faith’s cohort aims for advocacy and female empowerment in the wine industry. Along with her activism, she also is headed back to the University of Kentucky this semester to complete a degree in winemaking and distillation.
Cheers to that.