Women of Aquitaine

Starting in 2019, we used our platform to share and promote the Women of Aquitaine. From historical figures like Aliénor of Aquitaine to modern day taste makers in wine like Chinedu Rita Rosa, we aim to highlight these incredible women who have shaped and are still influencing our world. Many are in the realm of food and wine in Bordeaux, but we cover many others like young pilots who share their images of the Bassin d’Arcachon, or photographers capturing the lives of female fisherman off the coast of La Rochelle.

Here are past profiles, keep up with new ones by following our Instagram https://www.instagram.com/aquitainetravelguide/ or clicking the link for more in the their profiles below :


Sabine DURAND was born in Libourne and currently lives in Sainte-Terre, which if you don’t know already, is land of the lamproie. She gives some of the most interesting and enthusiastic visites in the area…

Rachel Lagière (from Gironde) was always passionate about growing products with maximum flavor and quality, discovering new varieties, and reintroducing forgotten ones.

Anne Labbé was the youngest woman to get her flying license at the age of 17 in 2017…‘The most interesting and “crazy” plane I have ever flown is a Stearman, an American biplane from the 1930s.’

Christine SAPHORE, head of Palmagri, a fantastique local foie gras coopérative of around 10 small foie gras farmers in Auros. As president, she ensures the birds are of the best quality, that all are raised…

Virginie HILDELBERT who sometimes works for the Nouvelle Aquitaine région and offers tasting courses on many regional products like Piment Espelette and oysters.

Helene Darroze was born in Mont-de-Marsan into a family of chefs and restaurant owners (her cousin owns a one star Michelin restaurant in Langon). She started cooking with Ducasse…

 Marie-Thérèse Ordonez, Maïte for the big audience. Her cooking career began as the chef for her local rugby team, where she was spotted by a director. 

Elodie Pichard (of restaurant CRU in Bordeaux) has a glow about her as she speaks about food. She is serious about her craft and yet incredibly down to earth at the same time. Local products like Ferme Rougié duck and FermePuntoun foie gras are found on the menu. 

The incredibly talented Camille Brouillard of L’Huitrier Pie in Saint Emilion (shown with her equally talented partner Soufiane Assarrar). Together, they create finely detailed, precise dishes which perfectly showcase their love of local, seasonal produce.


Lucie Mançais is just getting started in her winemaking adventure. The 23 year old was in university and realized she what she really wanted was to work in the outdoors in nature. 

Nea Berglund didn’t expect to get into the wine industry, even while growing up in a wine-making family. Château Carsin, near to Cadillac, is classically known for its sweet white wines, which they still make. 

Chinedu Rita Rosa started working in the wine industry in Lagos, Nigeria in 2008, buying for a wine shop. Eventually moving to Bordeaux in 2015, Chinedu created ‘Vines by Rosa’, a wine marketing, export and events business, and the head of ‘Bordeaux Business Network’.

Nicolle Croft, a local wine expert and tour guide. She came to the region 30 years ago in a 2CV (which is too cool) and has been working in the world of wine since she was a teenager!


…thousands in the Pays Basque were accused of witch craft. One of the women accused was Maria de Ximildegui who then accused many other of sorcery as her repentance.

Flore Celestine Thérèse Henriette Tristán y Moscoso, better known as Flora Tristan, was born in Bordeaux…campaigning for women’s and workers rights.

Eugénie de Montijo was born in Grenada, Spain in 1826. She would be better known later in life as Empress Eugénie after her marriage to Napoleon III.

Anne Alphonsine Hortense Renolleau on the Ile d’Oleron in 1836, she was a witch for some and a psychic for others. Anne was very religious and spent many hours a day in prayer. 

Maryse Bastié set several national and international aviator records during the 1920s and 30s (duration flying, distance, and a record time for a solo flight across the South Atlantic).

Josephine BAKER might have been born in the USA, but France was where she found happiness and success beyond anything possible in America at that time.

Andrée GROS-DURUISSEAU was born in Garat, of the Charente department. A Resistance fighter who was eventually deported at the age of fifteen, she is one of many women who joined the movement against the Vichy Regime during WWII. 

Anna Hamilton was born in 1864 in Italy, to a French mother and English father. She was a follower of Florence Nightingales nursing methodology. Anna became superintendent of the Protestant Hospital at Bordeaux

Pauline Kergomard was born in 1838 in a Bordelaise family of educators. She started teaching at the age of 18 and progressed to become first a school director and then an inspector at national level…


Rosa BONHEUR (Marie-Rosalie Bonheur) was a naturalist painter, born in Bordeaux in 1822, who achieved great recognition overseas, particularly the USA and UK. She was the first female painter to receive the Légion d’Honneur en 1865.

The oldest known sculpture of a human face is a woman’s, carved on a mammouth tooth over 28,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic period. It was discovered in the Landes…

Coline La Moing is a photography student in fine arts using cyanotype to capture local female fisherwomen. Women in the fishing industry are grossly underrepresented…

Jacquette de Montbron was born 1542 and is considered the first female architect of France. Two of the buildings she created are found in Nouvelle Aquitaine…

Born 1748 in Montauban, Olympe De Gouges (born Marie Gouze) was a French playwright turned political activist who was anti-slavery and feminist during the buildup to the French Revolution.

We will be presenting our Women of Bordeaux tour later this year (2022), follow our blog and Aquitaine Travel Guide on Facebook to stay in touch!

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