Sharon Kazan Harris fell in love with wine while spending her junior year abroad in France. At the time, she was a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in International Economics. After earning her B.A. in 1984, she worked in publishing, advertising, and technology and completed an M.B.A. in International Marketing from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in 1998.
She was able to switch gears in terms of her career when a search engine firm where she worked as Vice President for Sales went public. Leaving Silicon Valley, she went to Université de Bordeaux, where she completed the one-year D.U.A.D (Diploma in Wine-Tasting Expertise) program in 2006.
She launched Rarecat Wines in mid-2008—a name that is meant to suggest a woman of distinctive beauty—with the goal not only of being a successful business, but also a means of advancing social change. In this latter context, Sharon says, ““Helping women use wine as a tool meant that they could engage in conversation very often with people who run corporations, control budgets, hire individuals—in some ways, very similar to golf.” At Rarecat, she crafts single-vineyard wines in Napa Valley, Bordeaux, and Champagne. These include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot (St Emilion), Rosé Champagne, and a sparkling wine (Bordeaux).
Sharon has developed a variety of programs that focus on empowering women and diversity. In 2019, she was recognized as “One of the 29 Most Groundbreaking Women Changing the World” by Worth Magazine.