In honor of women’s history month, we want to highlight one of the wine industry’s top female winemakers. Since founding Ego Bodegas—a family-owned and operated winery in Jumilla, Spain—Ioana Paunescu has become one of the most notable women in the wine industry.
How It Started
Although she stumbled into the wine business by pure coincidence—and a love for wine—Ioana has made a name for herself since establishing the company in 2011.
After meeting in Romania, Ioana and her husband Santos moved to Spain to work for a local wine company. They both experienced hardships along the way, including getting fired from their jobs at that company. But the hardships only fueled their desire to continue doing what they did best: working in the wine industry.
“It’s a hard journey, but at the same time, it’s such a vibrant and interesting industry, so I have no regrets. Life is like a road. It has bumps, obstacles, but in the end, it gets you somewhere.” – Ioana
Once they saved enough money working as a freelance wine agent and a winery consultant, they started making their own wines. Little by little, they bought land and equipment to make more wine and hired staff to help with production. Flash forward a decade, and Ioana and Santos are now some of the best winemakers in southeastern Spain.
Why Ego Bodegas?
Along with Santos, Ioana has created a company that stands out among competitors by focusing on three core concepts: price, quality, and creativity. Her company delivers a quality of wine that meets the standard of friends and family yet is affordable for the average wine lover. This standard has helped her produce wines that maintain the same great taste when paired with any quality of food. These include some of the best organic wine and vegan wine to accommodate all wine lovers.
Ioana envisions a bright future for Ego Bodegas. Her wine called “Infinito”—which means “infinity” in English—serves as a metaphor for her company.
“I don’t like to limit ourselves to just one ending. I’d like to think we have all the possibilities awaiting us…Be spontaneous, be open-minded, be ready for the changes. And I think that is our future, a future yet to be discovered.”
A Passion for Wine
Ioana has always been a true wine woman at heart. Her passion for the wine industry grew from her genuine love for wine.
“The idea that there are unlimited wines for me to try, THAT is what excites me the most.”
Being able to discover new wines, enjoy them with loved ones, and bring smiles to their faces is what she treasures most about her work. At the end of the day, it all comes back to family for Ioana. If she could share a glass of wine with anyone in the world, it would be her family.
“After all, that’s all I want and all I need. That’s where my happiness lies.”
Ioana’s Career Advice for Women
As a woman in wine who’s experienced great success in the industry, Ioana offers a simple piece of advice to fellow career women.
Stay firm in what you believe, and surround yourself with strong women in your industry. Ego Bodegas embodies this concept by maintaining a gender balance among its employees. Ioana is proud to run a business where women and wine collide to find personal career success and help her company flourish.
Explore the Ego Bodegas Wine Collection