NAPW Warwick, RI Local Chapter Hosted a Wine Tasting & Networking Event at ShelaLara Vineyards and Winery in July

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National Association of Professional Women Warwick, RI Local Chapter learned about wine making and each other when they gathered at the local, family-owned vineyard for a networking event in July.

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Our NAPW group had a fabulous time...It was obvious that ShelaLara is a labor of love for the Gold family and one which everyone should experience for themselves when in the area.

Members and guests of the NAPW Warwick, RI Local Chapter gathered on July 31st for a professional networking meeting at ShelaLara Vineyards and Winery on Reservoir Road in Coventry, RI.

The group of professional women spent the evening tasting wines from grapes grown locally, as well as in California, Finger Lakes, Australia and Italy.

The networking event included a wine tasting and a tour of the winery where members and guests learned about the wine making process from owners Sheila Gold and her sons Andrew and Jason.

“Our NAPW group had a fabulous time!” said Warwick Local Chapter President Piper Bewlay.

"It was obvious that ShelaLara is a labor of love for the Gold family and one which everyone should experience for themselves when in the area."

ShelaLara Vineyards and Winery is named after Sheila, and was founded in 2003 in a mill on Valley Street in Providence. Andrew introduced his mother to winemaking as a hobby after his father died and she embraced it wholeheartedly. They moved the winery in 2005 to a small space in Coventry, which has since tripled to its present size.

“When we arrived at the winery location, we were a bit surprised to see what looked like a storage container or warehouse, but looks are most definitely deceiving!” said President Bewlay.

“Inside was a state-of-the-art, sparkling clean winery to the left and a large conference space (which has housed many events of varying sizes), a massive projection screen television (which was set to the Food channel), tables, chairs, a retail counter and an office area.”

The group of professional women found Owner Sheila Gold to have a friendly, warm and genuine personality. She graciously welcomed members and guests to her facility with a table set for the tasting with cheese and crackers, buckets for discarding wine, water pitchers for cleansing the glasses and forms with a list of 11 wines members and guests would be tasting. There also was a delicious line of celebrity Chef William sauces that the group sampled with tortilla chips. Delicious pizza and an array of fruit were provided by the Chapter President.

The friendly and well-informed tour guide, Dan, kicked off the evening by pouring each woman a glass of their patented Gaspee™ Wine Slush, available in four flavors: watermelon made with white merlot, strawberry made with Riesling, lemon tangerine made with Sauvignon Blanc and finally, sangria made with their red wines.

As they toured the winery, Warwick Chapter members and guests learned about the wine-making process including how and when the grapes are harvested, how the wine is fermented, tested and bottled. Dan told the group that ShelaLara wines are low in sulfites (molecular levels only), allergen free and gluten free.

The women were told that Andrew, the winemaker, keeps very detailed records and wine making logs. Every batch is quality control checked and lot numbered, as well as the maintenance of a wine library for future reference. The entire process, depending upon the style of wine being made, requires approximately 12 to 18 months. Some of their wines are aged in French and Hungarian oak, which require additional time.

“We all learned so much about the wine-making process and it was extremely interesting,” said Chapter President Pipier Bewlay. “We wrapped up the night by posing for the camera with our NAPW banner!”

To learn more about ShelaLara, visit and look for their coupon through Groupon or Living Social.

The next Warwick Chapter meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 28th and will feature the topic, The TutorDoctor.

Member and guests in attendance include:– Pipier Bewlay and Joyce Hurlbut, Cox Communications; Patti Avin, Tudor Doctor; Tracey Renzi, Johnson & Wales University; Shannon Salisbury, NC3; Diane Dowiot, Jewish Seniors; Donna Hackett, Beauty Control; Nancy Downing,Schloss, Cabby Clothes and Judith Cohen, Oracle DBA.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) provides a forum where women can interact, exchange ideas, educate, network and empower. NAPW Local Chapters allow members to maximize their experience through meetings, networking opportunities, and professional events.

For additional information regarding the NAPW Warwick, RI Local Chapter and/or NAPW, please visit

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Samantha Pokorny
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