Words of Wisdom from Women in Wine: Encouragement, and a Reality Check
Beck has been off galavanting these past few weeks -- there's a reason why this week's cover image shows the Buddha on a stoop in Verona, Italy! -- and I've been monitoring her social media posts from afar. One of the things I love most about them is seeing how many ABG Tribe members she's seen IRL (and selfied, natch...) from Adelaide and Sydney to Verona and back.
Y'all are awesome.
The last time Beck and I saw so many members of our community in one place was this past summer at the Bâtonnage Forum in Napa. It's been on my mind again for one very significant reason: R.H. Drexel, wine writer extraordinaire and a panelist that day, has just released the Woman's Issue of Loam Baby: A Wine Culture Journal, which is chock-full of profiles and straight-talk and narratives and straight-talk and features and did I mention straight-talk?
Drexel does not mess around, and I deeply admire her for it. Her writing, and this publication in particular, is so powerful that, after reading it, I literally handed my laptop to my husband (who was sitting next to me just then) and said, "Okay I need you to take this because I'm kind of shaking right now."
Loam Baby is like that.
Which means that I strongly (strongly) encourage you to head over to the site and read it.
Please notice the "Words of Wisdom from Women in Wine" section, which begins on page 34. For those of you who attended Bâtonnage, you'll recognize that most speakers you heard that day contributed to this section.
When Drexel asked me for my contribution, I heard it as an invitation to offer advice to younger women in the industry. I thought straight away of those I'm mentoring (especially in the data space) and those I've taught in various classrooms around the world. These women -- many of whom receive this newsletter -- are scary smart and brave and will/make a serious impact, a lot like Drexel herself.
There are a few things I wanted to say to you, that I always want to say to you especially when you are struggling or doubting yourself.
Let me re-state them here, below, in shortened form but please (please) check out the full issue of Loam Baby too.
Own that you are smart.
Remember that intelligence is meant to be shared, with the respect and care it deserves. It's about making a contribution. It's about giving a voice to information that you have come to possess. It's about being the voice of that, in a way that strikes the balance between confidence and humility.
Confidence, yes. Arrogance, no.
Humility, yes. But that does not mean prostrating yourself or being submissive.
It means that intelligence is never finished, and in that way intelligence itself is humble. You never know everything there is to know. You are part of a much larger evolution of intelligence. Recognize that there is a lineage, and you are one part of it.
Your job while you are here is to contribute what you can. Maybe that's a little; maybe that's a lot. But if you don't contribute, if you hide your intelligence and don't own that you're smart, then you've betrayed the gifts you've been given.
And there is nothing intelligent about that.
Meet the Tribe!
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Livio Felluga Winery (Friuli, Italy)
Years in the Industry:
A lifetime. Being the sixth generation of a loving winemaking family, my origins are firmly rooted into vines. My strong values were shaped by the vineyard and my first memories have the scent of Livio's cellar. I grew to become a bit of a gypsy, dedicating the last few years traveling the world to explore our charming industry.
After China, the US, New Zealand and France I now split my time between the beauty of Friuli and the excitement of the American market.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Time zones and hotels. That extremely confusing feeling of waking up in the middle of the night wondering, "Where am I?" Sleeping well plays such an important role in bringing balance and mindfulness in all aspects of life. When I'm rested, I'm focused. When I'm focused, I pay attention to what my body and mind tell me is right for me.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Rituals. I strongly believe in their power, and I take the time to perform one of my sacred little rituals no matter where I am. They are usually bound to practicing movement, kindness and contemplation, be it a walk, my yoga practice, going to the sea or a good gold chat with my super Nonna!
Also, being by myself. Extroverted but extremely shy, I find at times pure bliss in solitude. Just blame it on Netflix. Finally, lemon! Warm water and lemon is my number one remedy in life.
You can connect with Laura through her personal Instagram account.
What We’re Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
Are Great Sommeliers an Endangered Species? By Jordan Salcito for Daily Beast
"We were recently talking about how the party-boy/party-girl sommelier image needs to evolve. Do you think professionalism in our industry is at risk?"
Mindful Cooking and Drinking around the Holidays, by Bill St John for The Denver Post
“Navigating the Thanksgiving dinner buffet was calm waters compared to what's on the horizon.”
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you. Check out details on the Let's Meet Up! page over at A Balanced Glass.
Guest Lecturer at INSEEC in Bordeaux, Jan. 21 – 26 (Cathy)
Attendee at ProWein in Düsseldorf, March 17 to 19 (Cathy)
Attendee at MUST: Fermenting Ideas in Cascais, Portugal, June 26 to 28 (Cathy)