Founder/Creator, Côtes de Femme Wines
Kristin Bernard is the founder and creator of Côtes de Femme Wines, a Certified Woman Owned Wine Brand based in Huntsville, Ala. Although Kristin resides in Huntsville, her company features award winning wines: an 88-point Rosé from Côtes de Provence France; and a 94- point Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, California. Soon Côtes de Femme will feature a Champagne from Champagne, France. Kristin believes that wine is more than a beverage, it’s a lifestyle. Her brand focuses on celebrating life and celebrating women. Côtes de Femme (pronounced Coat- de- Fem) translates to English, “sides of woman” representing the many shapes, curves, tones, and types of women.
Originally from Mobile, Ala., Kristin met her husband Andy, a California native, in college at the University of Alabama. The couple has been married over 25 years and have three children. When
she is not drinking and studying wine, you can find Kristin traveling and enjoying fitness. Kristin is
a certified trainer, spin instructor, and bungee fitness instructor.
What circumstances helped shape you in your career?
When Andy and I were a young married couple with young children, we didn’t have the means to have many date nights or travel. When we would go on dates, I would order a glass of wine and Andy would order a soft drink. Andy will tell you he wanted to be a better date, so he bought a book to learn more about wine. This became our weekly date night. We would research a new wine and a food pairing. We would put the kids to bed early, create a meal, and enjoy a new bottle of wine from a different part of the world. We began to learn and “travel the world” through wine.
What do you love most about your job?
The wine business has allowed us to travel the country and the world. We have met the most incredible people and best of all– we get to drink wine! It’s our job!
What differentiates you from your peers or competitors?
I did not set out to be a disruptor in the wine industry. I wanted to create a wine brand that is more than a beverage…one that is a lifestyle. Life should be celebrated or as we say, “Live Extra!” We all judge a book by its cover when it comes to wine labels. I wanted a bottle that stood out in the shelf. Every bottle of Côtes de Femme comes with BLING, a bracelet on the neck of the bottle that you can take off and use to decorate your stemware. The bottle definitely grabs your attention but as you know, looks will only get you a first date. What is beautiful on the inside earns you a second date. We put a lot of time and research into carefully crafted wine blends that will make you want to return to enjoy Côtes de Femme again and again.
What organizations are you part of as a business?
Côtes de Femme is a certified woman-owned business. We are also a member of Women of the Vine and Spirits. In addition to our traditional white diamond Côtes de Femme BLING, we also have a rainbow bracelet for PRIDE events. We quickly learned that the LGBTQ+ community is not often celebrated in the wine industry. Our goal is to empower people to celebrate enjoy life to the fullest, and we believe everyone should be celebrated.
What awards, accolades or accomplishments are you proudest of?
We secured a patent on our signature BLING making us one-of-a-kind in the world! Our Côtes de Femme Cabernet Sauvignon received 94 points and a Gold Medal from USA Wine Ratings. Our Rosé earned 88-points with Wine Enthusiast.
What is your company’s mission statement?
Not only does Côtes de Femme represent the many shapes, curves, tones, and types of women. It also represents the mystère of a woman, the infinite facets of her being, that she is a powerful creature that cannot be tamed or truly understood, but respected, cherished, and loved. I want our brand to empower people, to celebrate life, to LIVE EXTRA. Our logo was created by a woman artist who specializes in line art. I commissioned her to create a woman in a hat, wearing heels, and holding a wine glass. Line art was important to me as I wanted it to be non-descript. I wanted anyone who looked at the bottle to say, “That’s me! With my glass of wine in my hand, I stand tall. I feel confident and ready to take on anything life throws my way.”
How has the business community changed for women since you began your career?
The wine industry is still a predominately male-run industry. However, women are on the scene. It’s happening, slowly but surely. Women are disrupting the space. They are becoming leaders, wine educators, and wine brand owners.
Follow us! Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @cotesdefemme