Rhonda Wood was inducted into the Non-Traditional Careers Category in 2015.
Rhonda Wood reminds women everywhere to pursue their dreams – no matter how far-fetched they may seem. Rhonda is the owner and winemaker for Wood Family Vineyards, one of the premier wineries in the Livermore Valley. Her path to winemaking was indirect. Rhonda’s first dream, in fact, was to fly. So she became a commercial airline pilot, a job she held for years while being a wife and mother of two young boys. When her job as a pilot required her to relocate, Rhonda decided to pursue Plan B because she did not want to leave Alameda County. Once again, Plan B meant traversing a career path few women have followed. Rhonda decided to become a winemaker, taking classes in oenology and pursuing hands-on learning of the art of winemaking. She slowly built up her skills and the family business to the point that she is now one of the Livermore Valley’s leading winemakers and one of only three women winemakers in the region. The paucity of women winemakers is also reflected statewide, where only 10 percent of California winemakers are female. But Rhonda continues to practice and perfect her art – to the joy of wine lovers everywhere. And she inspires women everywhere by finding success for the second time in a career that few women have pursued.