Wine Honors Economist Marianne Page
​​​​​​​Sales of Cantadora 2019 The Sage benefit the UC Davis Center for Poverty and Inequality Research

March 10, 2023
UC Davis College of Letters and Science
By Kathleen Holder

Marianne Page can count numerous accomplishments during her career as an economics professor in the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis, but none like an honor recently bestowed by a Napa Valley winemaker.

Page appears on the label of The Sage, an organic red blend wine created by Kira Ballotta for her Cantadora brand that celebrates Page and two other women “doing extraordinary things in support of their communities.”

A 10% share of sales of The Sage goes to the UC Davis Center for Poverty and Inequality Research, which Page co-founded and co-directs.

Ballotta will present a virtual wine masterclass in partnership with the center on Thursday, March 16, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The class on winemaking steps, ancient wine history and Ballotta’s approach to wine pairings is free, though requires registration.

Participants who wish to try the 2019 grenache/syrah/viognier blend can order it online for $50 a bottle. The wine is made from grapes grown organically at the acclaimed Shake Ridge Ranch vineyards in Amador County.

Answering questions about poverty and its solutions

A labor economist, Page is an expert on intergenerational mobility and equality of opportunity in the United States. In 2011, she and Department of Economics colleague Ann Huff Stevens founded the center to facilitate nonpartisan academic research on poverty in the U.S., disseminate the research, and train the next generation of poverty scholars.

In addition, Page is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Council of Economic Advisors. She is a co-editor for the Journal of Human Resources.  

Ballotta and Page did not know each other before their wine partnership, though the two women share an alma mater — the University of Washington in Seattle, where they earned undergraduate degrees at different times. Ballotta is also a graduate of UC Davis’ Executive Wine Program. “Kira reached out to me because she wanted one of the wines to be focused on a woman leader on the policy side,” Page said.

The label for Cantadora’s The Sage depicts Page photographed in the state law library in Sacramento, sitting at a table between two stacks of books.

“Time and again her research proves giving resources to underprivileged families not only helps children tremendously but also our greater good,” Ballota wrote in an Instagram post.

The other Cantadora wines, The Protector and The Healer, feature respectively Sonia Melara, co-founder of California’s first shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and artist Cynthia Tom, who created an art-based healing program for women of color.

Anyone who buys all three wines as a set before the Center for Poverty and Inequality Research benefit event automatically receives a Zoom link to the March 16 class.