Meet The Tribe:

Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the dedicated folks who make our profession so dynamic.  

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Michaela Morris, DipWSET, wine writer, educator and presenter

Years In Industry: 25

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness: 

The constant travel, which is often long haul and across many time zones. Besides the jetlag, there is also the tempting abundance of food and wine that is part and parcel of the trips. It makes it very difficult to establish or stick to any type of sleep, nutrition or exercise routine.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Yoga. Anytime, everywhere. It's a huge help probably more for my mental than physical health. I do it at the airport between connections, in my hotel room - sometimes when I am wide awake at 3am, in gas station parking lots during rest stops on media junkets and have even been known to stop tastings I am moderating to lead a yoga break. I have never regretted doing yoga and believe that even 5 minutes is worthwhile.

I have been practicing most of my life but only recently realized how it connects me to others. There is an extraordinary number of people in the wine industry who do yoga. When I travel, I now invite anyone who wishes to join my ad hoc sessions. Besides holding me accountable to practicing regularly, it helps cultivate a sense of community. This is crucial to my wellbeing especially when I am far from home.
I have plenty of other tricks as well, like drinking lots of water and seeking out healthy food. Above all though, I always try to focus on gratitude. This helps me appreciate and enjoy all of the extraordinary experiences I am so blessed with no matter how run down or tired I am.
How can we connect with you?

You can read my work on my author's pages of Quench and Decanter. I post on Instagram a lot and tweet occasionally at @MichaelaWine or you can reach out to me on FaceBook.


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Irene Graziotto

International Press Officer, Studio Cru - La Buona Comunicazione (Italy) 

Years In Industry: 


My Biggest Challenge To Wellness: 

Spending many hours communicating in front of a screen and on social media in a way that enhances real life and does not substitute it. As we say at Studio Cru, balancing press releases and tweets with handshakes, coffees and... glasses of wine, of course!

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

 I do sports, from rock climbing to jogging, from skiing to canoeing. I love sport but above all, I love doing sport with friends. A good laugh is as beneficial as endorphins shots. I love sport because it teaches you how to cope with adrenaline. 

Last but not least, I try to build up alliances - especially with women. Many women feel other women are a trigger. Until we stop perceiving a woman as a trigger in itself, the battle will go on and competitive stress will not decrease. We have to create alliances, not only with women but also with men.  A few ladies have started the battle - Ellen Pao in Silicon valley, for example - and many are following her example.

Daily life behavior is crucial - "Gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed saepe cadendo" wrote Roman Poet Ovid, which means "Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence".

You can connect with Irene through StudioCru or on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram



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Melanie Young

Host - The Connected Table Live & Fearless Fabulous You (both iHeart)

Years in Industry: 


My Biggest Challenge to Wellness:

My biggest challenge now is not letting any stress get to me and making sure I keep everything in balance to stay healthy. My tipping point was being diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer in 2009 after living on a steady diet of stress and unhealthy eating for most of my life. After more than a year of living chemically and surgically I decided I did not want to revisit Cancerland again. There are too many other places I’d like to be free to visit and enjoy in good health.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I eat a vegetable-focused diet and cook more meals at home (well, David does the cooking!).  I really don’t take many supplements. Just Vitamin D3. I think the right nutrient-dense diet will suffice, provided you stick to it and do not skip meals. We both try to take daily walks and practice yoga. I am convinced daily exercise, even a 30-45- minute brisk walk, makes a world of difference. And I am passionate about getting plenty of sleep. Usually seven hours is fine. As for wine, I ask for spit cups even at the best lunches and dinners. I drink at least one glass of water for every glass of wine. And, I have ‘dry days’ where I just drink water and herbal teas, especially when I am prepping for a press trip.

Regarding stress: If something is eating at me, I reframe the situation and let things go. I have walked away from many stressful situations that I felt were toxic, even if it meant giving up a large project. I find writing my blog very relaxing.

I believe staying health is not only managing what you eat but also managing what is eating at you. The healthiest diet and lifestyle in the world will simply not work if your stress hormones are choking you.

You can connect with Melanie here on Instagram Twitter  FaceBook or online at  Melanie Young  and The Connected Table


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Nils Bihari-Andersson
Certified WSET Educator, and Founder - A Glass and a Bottle.

Years In Industry: 
10 years, currently living in Paris.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Finding healthy, balanced role models in the wine business. This industry is light-years behind other sectors when it comes to questions of employee wellbeing, wellness, nutrition and self-care. When I'm teaching, maintaining a balanced alcohol intake is tough so I try to keep three alcohol-free days a week, keep my teeth healthy and make time for fun things outside of wine. Finally, with my teaching schedule, getting weekly physical exercise done is difficult but as a Certified Kettlebell Instructor, I can do my workout right there in my living room!.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Knowing when to stop and respecting that other folks have a life outside work is key, and when traveling, I leave extra time to avoid unnecessary stress so I can arrive feeling fresh. Structured physical exercise sessions with kettlebells or at the gym 3-4 times a week is essential both at home and on the road, along with sleeping enough (8-9 hours a night is ideal.)  Mindfulness meditation and paying attention to deep breathing helps me focus and reduces stress and worries. I use youtube videos and the Headspace app and aim for a 20 min session a few times a week, but even a 10 min guided meditation can do wonders!
 Converting to a low-carb, high-fat and high-protein, paleo style diet has helped me tremendously, and reading Mark Sissons’s “The Primal Blueprint” was an eye opener. I avoid gluten, processed foods, refined sugar and starches and always carry a bag of almonds as a satisfying snack and when tasting I drink 5-6 liters per day, and follow the 1:1 water wine rule. For supplements my staples are milk thistle, Omega 3, Vitamin D and folic acid.
You can connect with Nils on LinkedIn, FaceBook or through his website


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Karen Miller

Jiva Bhakti Yoga Teacher and Steakhouse 316 Bartender

Years In Industry:

25 years in Food and Beverage

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:  

Biggest challenge to wellness is my busy schedule: trying to eat clean and healthy while always being on the GO.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:  

I "keep it together" by getting plenty of sleep! In the morning I'll prep my food for the day and pack it up to take with. No excuses to having those late night french fries dipped in mayo (my weakness). I am a big fan of rebounding and stretching in the morning. It takes only 10-15 minutes and leaves me feeling great all day!

Practice yoga with Karen at O2:Aspen – a Yoga, Pilates and Wellness Spa in Aspen, Colorado.


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Hannah Wallace

freelance writer/editor (SevenFIfty Daily, Food & Wine Magazine)

Years In Industry:

20 years - including 12 in a freelance capacity. 

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:  

For most of my 8 years as an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, I sat at a conventional desk. When I was diagnosed with two herniated disks, I told my doctor that I couldn't figure it out--I hadn't carried anything heavy lately. He told me it was likely due to sitting for too many hours a day. How depressing!  I immediately requested a stand-up desk and have had one every since—at the office and at home.  Now I do most of my phone interviews and short computer tasks (responding to e-mails, paying bills, etc.) while standing and then I do most of my writing sitting at the kitchen table.  Standing for several hours a day not only puts less pressure on my lower back, it keeps me more active. 

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:  

Yoga! One of the best things about being freelance is I can practice yoga anytime—and I do. I usually have my mat out all day and I'll do a quick vinyasa in the middle of the day if my brain is fried or I just need to stretch out my arms, neck, and back. 

I also go running in a nearby park—heavenly Laurelhurst Park—several times a week. I've been trying to go without my phone so I can really connect with nature and daydream a bit--but I've got a bit of a podcast addiction.  So lately I'll listen to an episode of the Daily (or Trumpcast or Katherine Cole's the FourTop) and then I'll turn it off 10 minutes before the end of my run so I can commune with the trees and flowers. ;-)  

Connect with Hannah at on Instagram @Hannahmw23  or Twitter @Hannahmw23  




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Amy Bess Cook

Founder, Woman-Owned Wineries

Years In Industry: 

Eight years as winery manager and brand consultant, 1 year as wine entrepreneur

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

I am my own biggest challenge! I keep multiple creative projects cooking at one time. If I don’t carefully tend my proverbial kitchen, the whole house burns down.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

Mornings are important.  When I first open my eyes, I pay attention to how I feel, what I dreamed about, what’s happening in my body—all that good stuff. I write down my observations. I’ve been keeping a journal since I was a child. Then I try to start the day in a way that sets a positive tone: a coffee, a poem, a moment of quiet. I have been practicing yoga for about 20 years, and while I still can’t rock Scorpion pose (someday!) I can show up on the mat.  Am I sometimes riled unexpectedly so I wake up grumpy? Sure. Do I always have time for yoga? No. But I can almost always count on that moment just after I open my eyes, when life—even with all its challenges—seems clear.

Connect with Amy Bess on Instagram at @amybessyes or @wowsonoma


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Giuseppe LoCascio

Chief Everything Officer, Giuseppe LoCascio “Selezioni Varietali

Years In Industry: 

21 years, including 15 at my family’s fine wine importer and distributor company, The Winebow Group.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Being consistent with my wellness routines. I run my own business and I travel often and extensively. Sometimes it’s not possible to build a workout session, or even a quick run, into my schedule. Furthermore, like everyone else in the wine business, it’s difficult to always eat healthy and to avoid drinking, especially if you’re traveling to Italy often! On top of that, since I work with Italian wineries, the time zone difference sometimes makes it difficult to stick to my health plan.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well: 

My mother is a Dietitian, so I grew up learning how to eat well and healthy (even in Italy!). She taught me how to maintain a balanced diet and showed me that our body needs variety and movement to remain in good shape. She also taught me that our body needs healthy nourishment as much as adequate gratification, and that it doesn’t respond well to too many sacrifices. So I guess it all boils down to maintaining an overall balance: understanding when to say “no” but also when to reward yourself with a treat. I try to exercise routinely, and that is very important for me to let off stress and feel more energized.

I also practice meditation 3 times or more a week. I consider it a “samurai” practice: it allows me to be present and grounded, and to have better self control, and that in general I think is of great support to have productive business meetings and sound decision making. 

Connect with Giuseppe on Instagram @glocascio or via his website 



Julia Coney

Columnist, The Tasting Panel and Contributor, Wine Enthusiast

Years in the Industry:

Two. I switched careers from beauty writing to full-time wine and travel writing.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Staying active on the road. I enjoy exercise when home, but I can't seem to get it together when traveling. Traveling requires early mornings and late nights and I've learned to listen to my body and rest. I know exercise will help with the chaos of travel and help me rest better on the road. Recently, I started swimming during my travels and it makes a big difference. I no longer have to worry about bringing workout clothes and sneakers, but only a swimsuit.

How I keep it Together to Stay Well:

I've come to terms with having to check a bag so I can carry my travel diffuser, essential oils, and trigger point therapy balls. I've learned having an evening routine similar to the routine I have at home it makes travel easier. I always bring  chamomile teas to help me transition into an evening practice, epsom salts for nightly baths, and take melatonin to quiet my mind and for sleep. My meditation practice is much better while traveling. For some reason, being away allows me to tune into myself.

Find Julia at her website or on Instagram @JuliaConey


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Elizabeth Van Emst

General Manager, Cooperages 1912

Years In Industry: 

Ten years in wine oak barrel sales and senior management.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

I travel extensively domestically and abroad, so staying grounded, balanced, and energized is key, but I also need to come home to my two small children and be equally energized and ready to be present for them. So burning out with travel isn’t an option!

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I essentially have a ‘road warrior’ kit for maintaining balance and wellness on the road. In my suitcase I pack a travel yoga mat, running shoes, essential oils and a travel diffuser. For a little self care, I keep a travel french press with coffee and tea, my own granola, and high energy snacks on hand, alongside a refillable water canteen. Vitamin supplements are critical and I recommend “Ritual” vitamins which are developed specifically for women and packed with magnesium to help with sleep, and Vitamin B as support after nights out.

Finally, my writing journal is a powerful tool to stay focused on self-growth and personal goals. I carve out 10 minutes a day to write, which has been helpful in creating a space for holistic reflection, which then helps drive my career and family growth.

Find Elizabeth on Instagram at @Elizabethv_yoga or @worldcooperage



Elizabeth Colton

Senior Manager PR & Events, Campari America

Years in the Industry: 


My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Staying grounded, rested and properly nourished while on the road.

How I keep it Together To Stay Well:

Surround yourself with good people. I am fortunate to have an incredible circle of friends, family and an amazing partner who help keep me balanced and laughing, especially in stressful times. I also happen to be an introvert, so carving out solo time is critical for recharging my batteries, especially after traveling for work and upon conclusion of big projects. Self-care is essential, especially in our industry. When I'm home, my "glam squad" consists of teachers and practitioners of acupuncture, body work, meditation, Pilates and Qi Gong. I've got plenty of herbs and supplements going on as well to balance out my diet. When I'm on the road, I pack a ton of food and snacks so I've always got something easy and nourishing on hand. 

Find Elizabeth  on Instagram @elizabethjanesf 


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Kimberly Charles

Founder & Owner, Charles Communications Associates

Years In the Industry:

34! I started as a sommelier while in University, and in 2018 will celebrate 15 years as the owner of CCA.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Technology and its constant presence, a global clientele where time zones make for a day that can start at 6 AM with a call and end with checking in with the southern hemisphere at 9 PM.   This can make it hard to carve out time for self care, exercise and enough sleep. 

How I keep it Together To Stay Well:

Remind myself each day is new. Start my day with a 10 minute meditation, 10 minute stretch and Matcha tea, a natural energetic and healthy boosting tea without the detriments and jolt of coffee.

Find Kimberly at her  Website or Instagram:  @alltheswirl