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.  


Alison Smith Story
President & Co-Founder, Smith Story Wine Cellars (USA)

Years in the Industry: 
16 years. After a couple of part-time wine gigs to get my feet wet, I took a full-time position as a wine buyer and marketing manager for K&L Wine Merchants, which was my “MBA” year of sorts in the wine industry. I then started two businesses and a non-profit that allowed me to travel the world and help family owned wineries with sales and marketing, before founding Smith Story Wine Cellars with my husband Eric Story, in 2013.
My Biggest Challenge to Wellness:
I’m a certified workaholic who’s driven by creativity and social interaction, but also tasked with running all facets of the business so getting good rest is my biggest challenge. Both Eric and I are always trying to find a way to take a day off from the business, and so far we are failing. The anxiety of starting a new winery on your own is crushingly brutal.  

We split our time between weekends in the Anderson Valley (our tasting room location) and week days in Santa Rosa where we are close to the winery and airports. The constant balance is a mental thing wrapped up in tortilla of exhaustion with a side of nervous anxiety sauce.
How I keep It Together To Stay Well: 
In 2010 I participated in a 40-day Baron Baptist Yoga program that created this ah-ha “equanimity moment” of sorts of me. I try my best to focus on equanimity in business dealings and am always working on my emotional intelligence skills.

Also, I think not drinking alcohol everyday has been my best tool in the wellness-toolbox. I’ve found my own way of mediation through giving thanks through prayer in the morning and night.

I also have a fun outlet with our dear dog Lord Sandwich allowing me to switch my mind off of the hardcore business hours for some unconditional love, laughter and joy. One day at a time!
You can connect with Alison on Instagram at SmithStoryWines TwitterSmithStoryWines or online at


Tancredi Biondi Santi
Brand Ambassador for
Tenuta Greppo Biondi Santi, Castello di Montepò and co wine-maker (Tuscany IT)

Years in Industry:
I have always lived at the Biondi Santi winery, but it’s been 7 years since I started traveling for my role.
My biggest challenge to wellness:
The wine dinners and lunches organized when I travel abroad. It is always very difficult not to eat and sometimes there are more than 4 or 5 courses per meal, each one with a wine paired.

The schedule that you have when you travel, the jet lag, the dinners and the trip itself doesn’t help at all if you are keen on going to the gym in hotels and usually makes you very tired and a bit lazy.
How I keep it together:
Morning runs when I am in business trips it’s what save me the most but even going to a hotel gym when I have time to do it. Usually I am always seated, for meals or for travel and if don’t run in the morning my legs are going to hurt.
You need to be careful during the meals too, not eating all the courses or maybe skipping the dessert sometimes (lucky I am not a big fan of desserts). Usually, during wine dinners, I prefer to eat a bit less and drink a glass of wine more rather than the opposite, it’s healthier and lighter.
When I go back home, I always detox eating a lot of vegetables for a few days and I try to do as much sport as I can to stay well.
You can connect with Tancredi on Instagram at Tancerdibs or on Facebook


Karen Brennan
PR Director, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits (USA)

Years in the Industry:
I joined Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits six years ago. Prior to that I was on the PR agency side in both Chicago and New York City working on various clients in the spirits, food and CPG space. I truly have my dream job.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Wellness is an incredibly important part of my life, but like most people in our industry I have to balance it with a busy schedule that includes frequent travel and lots of events and wine dinners, especially in the evenings. I find that planning ahead is critical. This way I’m way less inclined to get distracted (or tempted!) by things that will compromise my commitment to wellness. 
How I Keep It Together to Stay Well:
Getting a Vitamix two years ago was a game-changer. I blend a fresh juice with all organic ingredients. I typically make it the night before and store in a large Mason jar so I can grab and go in the morning.
I try to make it to the gym at least three mornings a week. I feel lucky to work for a company that cares about wellness – there’s even a gym in our building.
I love to cook, and I try to follow a mostly Paleo diet. I also love the Headspace app which is great when traveling, and I am a big fan of essential oils – diffusing lavender at night guarantees a good night’s sleep for me.
I love traveling and exploring wine with my husband (also a wine connoisseur) and spending time with my two daughters Ashleigh and Grace.
My happy place? You’ll find me on the mountain top at Kunde Family Winery (one of our brands) enjoying a glass, taking in the incredible views and remembering why I do what I do.
You can follow Karen on Instagram at @kbrennanwine or FaceBook at Karen Davis Brennan

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Nate Slingsby, Associate Vice president, IBG Wine

Duck Pond Cellars, Great Oregon Wine Company, Rascal, Replica, LifeVine, Clean Label Project (USA) 

Years In Industry:

After years of earning my stripes in restaurant hospitality, I ventured into sales with distributors in the Denver and Boulder markets. I’ve been wholesaling wine for 15 years. I moved on to importing and the wonderful city of San Francisco when I got into the supplier side, representing small family-owned Old World producers. I assumed my current role as VP of the Western US for IBG after spearheading a project with a Napa producer to establish distributor relationships and rebrand and re-launch their Super Premium line.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Excuses. It’s real easy to tell myself "I’m too tired," "too busy," "too stressed." When it comes down to it, my wellness has a very direct effect on my productivity. I only realized that a few years ago. I have to make the time.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

Making time for self-care is a priority. I set aside solid time to unplug from work…no emails, no calls, no texts, no calendaring for at least one day. Maybe just an evening if that’s all I can afford. I try to be mindful of my alcohol intake. A day off, or even a day with a limited amount goes a long way.  I have a personal goal to get exercise 5 to 6 days a week. It’s not always easy, but when I make time to sweat it out, spend time on my mat or even just clear my head, I find myself to be less stressed. Knowing this makes getting it done more feasible.

I see a psychologist regularly. And I work with a life-coach to be held accountable to my personal and professional goals. I’ve found that making efforts to foster relationships outside the industry is important. This all helps me keep perspective. I'm work in progress…make no mistake. But, I have certainly found these measures help me get more done. Happiness and productivity run hand-in-hand in my world.

You can connect with Nate on LinkedIn and Instagram @therealslingsby


Gabi Antunes

Consumer Marketing & Customer Experience Manager aka “Chief Delighter” at Ernest Vineyards (USA)

Years In Industry:

Eight. In 2006 I moved to Boston from Lisbon, Portugal and started working in wine retail at The Wine Bottega in the North End, Boston - my weekend gig while I finished my undergrad degree in International Relations. I continued with grad school studies in business and along with it, I apprenticed under Deborah Hansen, chef/sommelier of Taberna de Haro, in Brookline, MA.
I took a hiatus to work at tech start-ups until I returned to wine when I moved to San Francisco last year and started working for Ernest Vineyards.

My Biggest Challenge to Wellness
Taking time off to rest.  This is 100% on me - I’m a bit of a workaholic.
I don’t mind waking up early to knock out a bit of writing for Ernest's newsletter or staying up late to design some wine labels I’m working on. Pack that in with my 130mi/209km round trip drive to Sonoma to lead a tasting at our winery or flying across the country to meet consumers at events, and the rap about wine industry gigs being a 24/7 job starts to make sense. But this level of activity drives me which is why the next part is key to my success.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well

In my tech days, I adapted to high levels of stress by taking frequent mini breaks to meditate throughout the day. I use the app Headspace and it works wonders: from one-minute meditations that help me quickly recover from a difficult moment to longer 10-minute guided sessions on Work & Productivity, this app is my wellness sidekick.
More recently I take a walk in the Redwood forest. Walking amongst these living giants is a reality check: my problems really aren’t a big deal and I’m a part of something way bigger than myself. I know, redundant, but I’m just being honest with ya.
You can connect with Gabi on Instagram @wineandfoodgal and Linkedin. Check out @ernestvineyards.


Kevin Gagnon WA

Freelance Writer, Educator and Consultant – and Lyric Baritone (Germany). 

Years In Industry:

I started to focus on wine in 2007, several years after I had moved to Europe to pursue my career in classical music. By 2009 I had really started to geek out on wine while singing at the Opera Festival at Aix-En-Provence.  By 2011 I was running tastings and courses on wine, and in 2015 started the Weinakademiker program at the Weinakademie in Rust, Austria, graduating with the WSET Diploma and becoming the first Canadian Weinakademiker in 2016.  

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

My own difficulties prioritizing the things that are most important for myself, instead of what is important for other people. I have a little boy, an active singing career and a busy schedule of wine travel and writing, all of which means very little sleep and too little time for exercise, free reading and getting away from work. Wellness triage is critical and time with my son is the most important part of my day.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I love to cook, and I cook every day when I am home. I make nearly everything from scratch, which I enjoy very much. Huge portions of fresh vegetables, whole grains and occasional, locally-sourced meat.

I try to exercise at least four times a week, and follow a rigorous strength-training program that uses resistance and your own body weight as its only equipment, which means I can do it while travelling, regardless of weather or hotel gyms.

When I am travelling, I get out and see where I am. I walk as much as possible, see the “old stones” of the historic places I am lucky enough to visit, and take wine to the countryside. It is a joy that I sometimes share with others, but most often, and more importantly, do alone. It charges my batteries when I am feeling the most run-down.

You can follow Kevin on Instagram, Facebook  or his website



Laura Catena
General Manager, Bodega Catena Zapata (Argentina)

Years In Industry:
Officially I started in 1995, 23 years ago, the same year I finished my medical residency. Emergency Room doctors work 12 days a month, because of all the nights and weekends, so I had time to start with the winery on the technical and viticultural side. Eventually I moved into exports and sales, and now I'm the GM. Unofficially I started with the winery when I was 18 and started going to France and drinking great wines with my Dad, who was figuring out what it took to make a Grand Cru.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Selling wine all over the world, in different time zones, with lots of late night conversations. So I get really organized. Eighty percent of my calendar is organized three weeks in advance, because I spend four or five hours on conference calls with Argentina every day. You know when’s your free time, and you get back to people on time too.

Staying on top of all the diseases and the technology around them -- both viticultural and medical -- is also a big challenge and my obligation.

I also spend extended periods of time abroad with my family. There’s something about being in a different country, especially a Latin country, that's much more relaxing in many ways. It recharges me.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

We have a system for keeping track of things, that combines email and scheduling time to talk to people. After every two emails, the third encounter is a phone call. It's an unwritten Catena-wide rule. Staying connected makes me stay well.

I also think that working in mixed teams, with both men and women, is much more conducive to wellness. Everybody learns from each other. When you have a male colleague you can talk about how you handle having two working parents, and you aren’t just talking to other women. For men having a female colleague, it makes them understand their wife better.

Finally, once in a while, I take an Ambien for sleep. The research shows that we should try to get on the new time zone as quickly as you can, so I take a sleeping pill on my flight there and then on my first night in the new place. That's it. Taking three drinks to get yourself to sleep is a lot worse.

You can connect with Laura on Instagram or through the Catena Wines website.


Jennifer Reichardt
Owner and Winemaker, Raft Wines

Years In Industry:
Officially seven, but I have been around all my life. Growing up in the food industry in Sonoma County (our family business is Liberty Ducks), we were constantly around wine and wineries. It was an easy transition for my first harvest in 2011. I then received my Certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers, before realizing that production was where I wanted to be. After five harvests in Sonoma, and two abroad, I launched Raft In 2016 and haven't looked back!

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Ultimately, time management. It is so easy to put off a workout because of the looming emails, bottling deadlines, and during harvest it's a full on distant memory. I am always so creaky when I get back onto the yoga mat after two months of driving grapes and moving barrels. The late nights get me too. While I am decisively a night owl, I still need to be active and fresh in the morning. So many events go late into the evening, and are often an hour+ away from home, and the time spent out catches up with me.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Eating healthy and so much water! With the alcohol and heavy meals while I’m out, at home I try to eat as clean as possible. I start everyday with a green smoothie of a banana, kale, collagen powder, flax, chia, and an assortment of herbs and powders. It starts my day so right. I always drink a glass of water when I wake up, and try to hydrate as much as possible during the day. We eat mostly vegetarian at home, it's easy for quick meals and keeps our stomachs happy. 

On the weekends I am trying to limit social media and emails. It is too easy to work when it's all on your phone and right there. I am trying to only read emails, and spend less time managing my Instagram and Facebook. I love social media as I think our world has been opened up to new places, spaces, and ideas, but it is such a time warp. Since most of my posts are related to one of the businesses (Raft Wines or Liberty Ducks) it is truly part of the job. It's taken me too long to realize I need that mental break from it, just as much as you may need a mental break from your computer in the office.

You can connect with Jennifer on Instagram and Twitter, or at her RaftWines website and FaceBook page.


Jessyca Lewis
University Professor And Wine Educator, Oregon (USA)

Years In Industry:
Five. In 2014 I started taking University students to classes in Siena, Italy for wine marketing and social media marketing classes. It went from 15 students to 144 students, and we ended up working with 15 Italian wineries. I am currently working on international speaking, consulting, teaching and wine tours. 
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness: 
I am a an international traveler and business person, and sleeping, exercising, and eating well in foreign countries can be challenging. Solutions for me are grounding yourself quickly, use ear plugs, and finding places for good food, dance and exercise.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:  
I exercise five days per week, and I dance, have acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, attend Weight Watchers, cook great foods, and spend time with my family. When I am traveling I exercise, find healthy foods and maintain my spiritual practices. 

Find Jessyca online on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: carlos gonzaělez armesto

Photo Credit: carlos gonzaělez armesto

Linda Milagros Violago

Grazing a Trail Consulting, Consultant Sommelier + Server at Restaurant Lawrence, (Montreal Canada)

 Years In Industry:

30+ years, always front of house, mostly independent restaurants, with some consulting with hotels and resorts, through 13 countries, including Charlie Trotter's in the US, Mugaritz in Spain, Geranium in Denmark, and In de Wulf in Belgium.  I also completed four harvests and a stint at a Japanese sake brewery. 

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness: 

Getting enough sleep.  My body is used to long restaurant hours, so I don't typically get to bed until late, no matter when I get home. I am a big fan of "Linda Days" which includes self care including yoga, maybe a pedicure, massage, or  visit with an acupuncturist.

Because I consult as well as work service, I try to really keep the (out of service) work hours condensed to a certain amount per day, which means I need to be organized.  If I am not organized, it means that I am working seven days a week and that isn't fun for me anymore.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:  

I define boundaries - if I take work home with me I am sure to do it in my home office, or in a place that I don't leisurely things - this helps avoid distractions, and keeps the work and lounge space separate.

I have moved quite a lot in the last couple of years and have been very lucky to have friends and co-workers around to support me I am very introverted and am super happy to be on my own.  I have trouble asking for help, but I've been able to do that, and it's made a world of difference. 

I love walking, and public transport.  If I can't have one, I'll take the other.  In Montreal, most of my life's "stuff" is within a 15-minute walk. Public transport affords me the time to read, and walking means great people-watching and fresh air.



Ambar Maddox

Wine Ambassador, Pernod Ricard (Australia)

Years In Industry: 
Two years. I somewhat fell into the industry with absolutely no knowledge of it after being offered a position with Pernod Ricard as a part of their Graduate Program. As we all know, this industry forces us to learn hard and fast so it’s been quite the journey – especially switching from the entrepreneurial/start-up/non-for profit space over to corporate, however it’s been an absolute blast and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness: 
Remembering to put myself first. Just as I started out in the industry I was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis, which is an autoimmune disease similar to Crohn’s that is hugely impacted by stress, diet and sleep – things we all know to be the first things to spiral out of control when the dial switches up and it begins to get busy.
While it might sound ridiculous, most of the time I feel 100%, so despite having a chronic diagnosis it can be easy to forget to slow down and take time for myself when I need it. I’ve learnt the hard way of what the outcome of failing to prioritise your health can be and I can guarantee, living with chronic illness or not, it’s not worth it. 
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well: 
I try to get outside in nature as much as possible. As soon as I’m either at the beach or in a forest, I can feel my mind and body instantly breathe out and relax. There’s not many things that a swim can’t fix, so whether it be in the ocean or the hotel pool, I always find I’m happiest in the water. I also avoid drinking for the most part (ironic given my title but definitely doable!) and practice yoga and meditation daily.
You can connect with Ambar on Instagram @ambar.maddox or via LinkedIn.


Pauline Vicard
Executive Director, of Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines (UK)

Years In Industry:
All my life really. I was born into a winemakers’ family in Burgundy, so I grew up working in the vineyards. Through my studies, I had the privilege to work for the French Embassies abroad and the Burgundy Wine office, market study department. I then created my wine education and event company, before moving to London to run and develop our new Think Tank.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
My ambition, my schedule and my insomnia  I am very lucky: I run an international initiative that is growing really quickly, I play sport at an international level with crazy good teammates and I raise the most amazing little girl. This year I started the Master of Wine programme, and keeping up with all those different expectations can be very demanding.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
When I get really exhausted (nearly every week to be fair), I remind myself that all of this is really a blessing and that I am so lucky to be exhausted.
Playing sports is the best way to balance intellectual fatigue, stay fit despite the long business dinners, and switch of your business mind. The community that you meet through both wine and ultimate Frisbee is just amazing and always ready to help, should you reach out. And last but certainly not least, my husband is my first supporter, always here to coach me when I’m training, tuck our daughter to bed when I’m travelling, edit my excel spreadsheets and pour me wine for my daily blind tasting 
You can connect with Pauline on Instagram at labelsandgrapes or at FineMinds4WineWines  or at the FineMinds4FineWines website.  

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Eliza Pinta Kauce
All things wine in Oliviero Toscani Winery (Italy)

Years in the Industry:
16 years. I first got my hands in, and on, the wine business when I was just 13 years old. I sneaked into my father's Italian wine importing business in Latvia, and never looked back. By the age of 18 I would discuss the differences of Chianti Classico subzones instead of partying with my friends. Since then I have tried with all my heart to learn and educate about wine, fully immersing myself in all fields of the industry.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
To maintain your sh*t together and find joy and happiness in life with a 24/7 schedule, that includes always being on the road (or on the phone, or in the field), never-ending tastings and dizzy events, is what I see as the biggest challenge.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I am indulging more of my time and energy to keep my mind rather than my body healthy. Of course, I am an active person who loves long walks and practices classical ballet. But I think that keeping our minds clear and bright is the best way to get through whatever the day brings. To read at least one non-wine related book a week, to learn new things, to embroider, practice your foreign language skills and bake a cake now and then, is definitely the way to go for me.  

You can connect with Eliza through InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

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Brian Cronin, MS

National Education Manager, Taub Family Selections (USA)

Years In Industry:

24 years in the Industry. I started as sommelier for Charlie Trotter (Chicago), then moved to San Francisco to work as a sommelier with Michael Mina, Gary Danko and alongside Shelly Lindgren at A16. I then worked with Jackson Family Wines as Education Manager prior to joining Taub Family Selections in 2015. 

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Making sure I take time out for myself. With so much travel and being all over, all the time, it is so easy to take any free time to rest. First and foremost is making sure I do something to energize…even as simple as taking a walk. After a long flight may first thing after landing is usually to go for a run to recharge. 

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

When I am home I look out the view I have, which makes me want to go outside and do something for myself. If I am traveling I spend a bit looking for places to run, whether it be a park, an attraction, or a monument. It gives me something to look forward to besides just going somewhere for work. Thinking about a gym usually tires my mind, long before I even step foot into it. 

You can connect with Brian through his website or on Instagram @runningwineguy and Twitter @bcroninms

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Laura Felluga
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. 


Tamara Grischy

Head of Auctions, Langton's (Aus) | 2018 Woman of Inspiration – Australian Women in Wine Awards

Tamara Grischy
Head of Auctions, Langton's (Aus) | 2018 Woman of Inspiration – Australian Women in Wine Awards
Years in the Industry:
28 years. Starting in winery production, sales and marketing, I joined Langton’s in August 1998 as Senior Evaluation and Marketing Manager, working with Stewart Langton and Andrew Caillard MW. That year I headed up the project to move the auction business online which we then launched in 2001. I worked closely alongside Andrew Caillard for 10 years until taking over the role as Head of Auctions in 2008.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Sleep. Taming my thoughts and pausing my brain long enough to fall asleep and get an uninterrupted seven hours.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Mostly no reading on my phone half an hour before bedtime, and only listening to music and podcasts. Exercise forces my brain to concentrate on the task at hand; with personal training sessions twice a week, a game of netball once a week, and walking the dogs on the weekend with my family.
Regular family time – My husband Matt and I always eat dinner together with our three kids - Jai (18) Ivy (16) and Sofia (11) at the dining table, most nights around 8 or 8.30pm. It is an important time for us all to catch up on everyone’s day, their plans, and there are always lots of great discussions on life.
Finding the “Me time” by booking in regular massages, and spending time gardening on the farm. I drink lots of water, focus on fresh food when we can and seasonally - at the moment we are eating lots of blueberries.
You can connect with Tamara through her personal Instagram or through Langton’s website or Instagram

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Su Birch
Life Coach and Owner, Thinking Seahorses marketing consultancy (Sth. Africa)

Years in the industry:
Altogether about 25 in the liquor industry. I was the marketing manger of the spirits division of a company called SFW for several years, before going back into advertising. Then, while I  was working in the fruit industry, I was asked to help develop a wine for the UK market. The brand was Arniston Bay, South Africa’s first post-apartheid big brand, and from then on, I was “hooked." I spent 13 years as CEO of Wines of South Africa (WOSA) before starting my own marketing consultancy. One of my current projects is designing the programme for the annual Business of Wine & Food Tourism conference. I qualified as a coach last year and am now coaching young managers in the wine industry.
My Biggest Challenge to Wellness:
When I was at WOSA it was the constant stress of trying to meet the diverse needs of all our wine industry stakeholders; the politics were quite intense. Running huge pavilions at fairs like Prowein and shows like Cape Wine on shoestring budgets was stressful because I was determined not to let anyone down. I also struggled with attending the many producer launch events - I can't work in the afternoon if I have had wine over lunch.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
What kept me sane during my WOSA years was my magnificent team who always supported me. Working with a personal trainer 3 times a week meant I stayed strong and could cope well with a demanding travel schedule. I try for less coffee, more green tea, less meat, more vegetables, and I’m strict about limiting how much wine I drink.

I wish I had known In my WOSA years about all the tools I have learnt in my training to be a coach. These days I bring balance into my life by meditating daily, doing yoga twice a week, walking at last twice a week and helping little ones with reading at our local township school. My cell phone is programmed to remind me every evening to think about gratitude, and that puts my whole life in perspective. I have so very much to be grateful for, especially in South Africa.
You can connect with Su online at her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Kate Goodman, Owner, Winemaker & Cleaner Goodman Wines

Chief Winemaker Penley Estate | Director Yarra Valley Artisan Winemakers (Aus)

Years in the Industry:

I’ve been making wine for 26 years, It’s been a great ride, starting as a cellar hand in McLaren Vale South Australia, followed by a stint in the Clare Valley, then a seven-year winemaking role in Western Victoria. In 2001 I moved to the Yarra Valley to join a new small winery operation, before starting Goodman Wines in 2012 and going solo in 2014. 

Biggest Challenge to Wellness

TIME! Not taking on too much and giving myself space and time to just be and making time to be a present mum to my 8 year-old son Levi.  Juggling a couple of businesses, work travel and school hours can make for a busy week. In 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer – touch yourself ladies!  Since that diagnosis, I am more conscious than ever of what I eat and how I live, however there is still plenty of room for improvement.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

 A generally healthy diet, lots of home cooked food and a couple of alcohol free days a week.  I don’t eat highly processed food, keep a limit on my coffee intake and drink plenty of water.  I aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep and have recently started a Qigong practice. With the exception of harvest, weekends are for the family, and having digital ‘time out’ seems to create a feeling of space. 

You can connect with Kate online at Goodman Wines or follow her on Instagram and Twitter


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Michael Wangbickler

President, Balzac Communications & Marketing (USA)

 Years In Industry:

Seventeen. I began my wine career working in the tasting room of a major producer which gave me a firm foundation in wine education. All the while, I made friends and looked for my opportunity to marry my love of wine with my experience in communications. In 2004, the opportunity to join the Balzac team was a dream-come-true and after more than a decade managing key accounts, I acquired the company and became president in 2016.

 My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Physical and mental stress. With my very busy schedule of travel and meetings, it’s difficult focusing on eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. The stress of running the agency sometimes takes its toll.

I also suffer from Depression. Depression has a habit of sneaking up on you, and at times of extreme stress, it can be overwhelming. It isn’t something that can be cured… it’s with you always, waiting to pounce when least expected.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

Therapy and quiet time. Mental health issues continue to carry a stigma. They are often ignored or downplayed, so those of us with Depression are often uncomfortable talking about it.  But I firmly believe that if we don’t share, we give it power, and more of us suffer.  

I see a therapist every few months to talk through my issues. It’s amazing how helpful it is to talk to somebody who doesn’t judge you for your faults, and can help guide you through your troubles. It’s also important to have some quiet time alone, where I can collect my thoughts, or just relax with a book. It’s how I recharge my battery. 

You can connect with Mike on Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn or through Balzac Communications


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Stefán Sigurðsson
Senior Account Executive, Colangelo & Partners Public Relations (USA)

Years In Industry:
Three years. I had an extremely boring career in law back home in Iceland, so I decided to make a change and pursued a M.Sc. degree in PR and Corporate Communication at NYU, securing my job with Colangelo & Partners Public Relations shortly after graduating. I was completely new to the professional world of wine, but three years later I am in love with the wine industry, its extremely hard working people and the constant learning opportunities I find myself immersed in.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Balance. Whether that means balancing out my food and wine intake with green juices, milk thistles, prayer and/or exercise, or carving out time to shut my brain off - I think it is vital for longevity in this business. Finding your balance is a personal pursuit, there's no formula that works for all but you can certainly learn from those around you and adapt what works for you into your daily life.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I try to exercise 4-5 times a week. I used to hate exercise with fervor, but thankfully that has changed and as a result I've become more ambitious about maintaining healthier personal protocols in regards to sleep, food quality, and alcohol consumption. 

I also believe its no less important to sometimes take the pressure off, and throw the rules out the window. So whether the day or mood call for a generous pour of that Champagne you were saving for a "special occasion" or just binge-watching the purest form of entertainment that is The Great British Baking Show - let yourself have it and get back on the horse tomorrow. In addition to the mind, a fine wine is a terrible thing to waste.
You can connect with Stefan on Instagram or Twitter   

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Gill Gordon-Smith VIA, CSW. FWS

Founder and Winemaker - Fall from Grace, McLaren Vale | Education Coordinator - The Wine & Spirits School TAFE | 2017 Wine Communicator of the Year (Australia)

Years In Industry:

40+. I grew up in McLaren Flat, South Australia and have always worked in education, wine and hospitality. I had a 20 years stint with Qantas airways as a “hostie” and helped develop the “Sommelier in the Sky” Program and today I own and manage a small winery and wine retail store in McLaren Vale, while coordinating the WSET and wine programs for TAFE South Australia.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

It’s me! I find it difficult to slow my mind, I really love a challenge, and I have an imaginative and enquiring mind so I’m very adept at overthinking things and find it hard to say no. Finding time to eat well, and keep my body moving and active has actually become harder. When I was flying, I had more time to myself but juggling family, work and students can be an issue and I have acknowledged that I am my own biggest challenge and critic!

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I am a really early riser, 4am-5.30am every day, no matter where, so I try and go to bed early. I actually find the stillness in the morning and the quiet of the house my best time to get things done. I wake up, find that moment of stillness, focus on my breathing and then unwind my body. My yoga practice varies from 10 minutes to an hour and I try hard to not beat myself up about how it, and I, have changed after a significant break. I had some great advice from an older women - at the end of the day most things in life are measured on a scale of “burnt toast to death” and most are burnt toast. Things can wait. I also love to walk my dogs on my local Maslins beach.

You can connect with Gill on Instagram, Twitter or via her website at

Photo Credit: Jessika Roth  Yogi Portraits

Morgan Perry

Founder, Yoga Unwined (USA)

Years In Industry:
12 - I started my career working with wine and spirits PR and events for ten years at a NYC agency, and still consult in that field. I started Yoga Unwined about a year and a half ago.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness: Balancing running my two businesses, seeing friends, enjoying wine and working out! As someone who is self-employed, I don't get a lunch break or have to be in or out of the office at a certain time, which I love. But in busy times this means I tend to over-work and sacrifice movement.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well: 
I try not to drink wine every night. As a wine student & teacher, this can be hard, but when at home alone or with my boyfriend, I try to abstain. I also eat lots of fresh, organic foods, minimal meat, and drink mostly water, sparkling water, tea (and yes, some coffee) which keeps my body feeling good. 
I try to schedule some kind of daily physical activity where I am held accountable. This could mean a yoga class (even though I am a teacher, I need to sign up for a class to make sure I do it!), meeting up with a friend to work out, or inviting friends to the Yoga Unwined classes I teach.

Finally, my boyfriend is a holistic health coach and Acro yogi teacher, so we end up spending a lot of time together moving in some way - I feel incredibly lucky to be dating someone who is also focused on wellness.
You can connect with Morgan on her personal Instagram, and website, or at YogaUnwined on Instagram and online.   


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Wendy Narby

Owner, Insider Tasting Wine Education (France)

Years In Industry:

Almost 30. After 8 years in Paris, I moved to Bordeaux to marry a winemaker and I’ve been working in the industry ever since. I started as a journalist, then as an educator at the Bordeaux wine school and now combine the two with organizing personalized programs for wine enthusiasts, both professional and amateurs wanting to gain a more intimate understanding of Bordeaux and occasionally other wine and spirits destinations. I published my first book ‘Bordeaux Bootcamp’ as a beginners guide to the region and earlier this year - The Drinking Woman’s Diet - A Liver Friendly Lifestyle Guide.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Keeping to my self-imposed regime of two days a week without booze, it is so tempting when there is so much great wine around, that and getting 7/8 hours sleep a night. Now that is a challenge! 

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I have a morning detox routine I try and stick to, even when I’m traveling: I start with a large glass of water and a stretch before even getting out of bed, oil pulling and body brushing and then a large mug of hot water with lemon juice, turmeric, ginger and pepper. I

I try and do a daily yoga practice in the morning, even if it is just 10 minutes of sun salutations. When I’m home walking the dog through the vines at the start of the day is as good for the mind as it is for the body. 

You can connect with Wendy on Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook or on her website

You can purchase Wendy’s Book “The Drinking Woman’s Diet” in paperback , on e*book or via Amazon.


 Jo Diaz

Founding Partner, Diaz Communications, Wine Marketing and Public Relations (USA)

Years in the Wine Industry:

26 Years – After a successful career in FM radio broadcasting, my husband, Jose Diaz and I moved from Portland, Maine to Sonoma County. I segued into wine PR, working for The Hambrecht Wine Group, Barefoot Cellars, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Ironstone Vineyards. In 2001, I started Diaz Communications, and the following year Jose became my partner. We also started PS I Love You (advocacy for Petite Sirah), and the Association of African American Vintners.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Inheriting the “Clarke digestive DNA” is a family curse. Both my father and Uncle Joe (Clarke) had serious acid indigestive issues. Uncle Joe loved his heirloom tomatoes, more than any digestive aid, whereas my father used a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, in an 8-ounce glass of water, to balance his heartburn. When I began to develop the Clarke heartburn syndrome, I followed in my father’s footsteps, and use a teaspoon of baking soda when I’ve been running hard and not taking time to digest well. I carry baking soda when I travel, and it also helps to whiten teeth after wine tasting.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I began practicing Transcendental Meditation in the early 70s. Next came yoga in 1975. I’ve continued with both to today. I was raised on organic foods and avoid fast foods, all oils – except for olive and coconut oils - and only purchase organic fruits and vegetables, along with humanely raised animal meat. When I’m dining out, I’m at the mercy of whatever a chef has purchased, and I come home to a baking soda cocktail, if my foods have been too acidic. I have to go to sleep with my body in balance, so the next day starts on the right side of the bed. A well-balanced body is like a well -balanced wine… It’s fine, in balance with TA and pH, and will have great ageability, if treated kindly.

You can connect with Jo Diaz on FaceBookInstagram , Twitter  or via her website



Siu Ki Wan

Founder SKW Production Inc - Wine & Spirits Event Marketing (USA)

 Years in the Wine Industry:

15+. My first introduction to the F+B world was at 17 years old working as a hostess at the River Cafe. Working front of house in NY restaurants, I joined Wine & Spirits Magazine as an event marketing intern and left as their Event & Marketing Director. Today SKW Production Inc specializes in producing wine events for clients ranging from La Paulée to Wine & Spirits Magazine and various EU projects.  

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Eating healthy and working out while on the road.  Year to date I’ve flown 80,000 miles and eat out almost every night of the week.  When I am home, healthy choices and working out are easier, but while on the road it’s tough with wine client dinners, and working out gets pushed to the side.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

When I am fortunate enough to be home, I like to “nest,” and make time for myself. If schedule allows, I stop work around 3pm, head to the gym for a cardio, barre or yoga class then go grocery shopping for dinner and have a cuddle session with my dogs. I try to avoid drinking on most week days; reserving it for social occasions.

A friend recently introduced me to the meditation app “Headspace” - it is super simple to use and have been incorporating it in to my morning routine right after I wake up. Defining my “space,” and doing a “body check,” helps me prepare for the day and rewards me with a little “me time,” before I give everyone else my time.

You can connect with Siu Ki on FaceBook, Instagram, or via her website

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Joel Peterson

“Godfather of Zin” and Founder, Once and Future Wine (USA)

Years in the Wine Industry: 46

  • In 1976, in a fit of hubris, I started Ravenswood winery making 327 cases of Old Vine Dry Creek Zinfandel. We grew Ravenswood to the point where we went public (traded on the NASDAQ) and ultimately sold the winery to Constellation Brands in 2001.

  • Once and Future is a smaller (under 3,000 cases), hands-on winery, that only makes the wines that I love, featuring unique single vineyard designated old vineyards, made in the same way I made wine in the early years at Ravenswood.

  • Morgan Twain Peterson, Joel's son, founded Bedrock Wine Company and recently earned the Master of Wine degree.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Age related entropy. At 71 I continue to be engaged in all facets of the wine business with the usual challenges to wellness. Those would be exceptionally decadent winemaker dinners, long distance airline travel, irregular sleep, and an abundance of readily available delicious liquid grape refreshment. Did I mention the sales stress anxiety? Overlay that with a decreasing metabolism coupled with muscles and tendons that no longer enjoy the abuse to which they were once subjected without complaint, and you have a real challenge.

How I keep it Together To Stay Well:
I learned some years ago they staying well is a proactive endeavor. To combat those amazing dinners I maintain a mostly vegetarian at other times. Staying hydrated and using saline nasal mist helps with the plane travel. I have learned that I don’t have to be the last to leave the party (though as I get older I seem to be among the first to leave). Delicious grape beverage availability has become an exercise in taste, enjoyment and knowledge rather than consumption (except when it comes to the nightly glass of Champagne).

While I have always made a point of exercising (mostly swimming) I have added a morning routine that includes pilates, yoga and meditation that has done wonders for the stress and the complaining body parts. As you get older it is hard not to start dividing your days as good days and bad days. At the moment I definitely have more good days than bad. I plan to keep that going for as long as it is in my power to do so. 

How can we connect with you?
You can connect with Joel on Facebook, Instagram or Once and Future Wine

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David Gluzman
Chief Design Officer - / (Canada)

 Years In the Wine Industry:

Approximately 10 years or so, but first caught the bug when I raced bicycles in Italy while in my late teenage years.

I first got caught up in the industry professionally with an online magazine I founded (before blogs were a thing), then starting a wine club in Canada in 2009 (, on the back of that spun up a tech company to help wineries sell direct to consumer ( and most recently have been working on a platform to allow wineries to share accurate wine information thru the Global Wine Database ( I’m based in Calgary, Canada (near the mountains) and travel to wine regions frequently.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Being an entrepreneur makes it difficult to place boundaries around when work starts and ends. Keeping energy levels high and a positive attitude with the ups and downs of business can be challenging. Knowing the limits of my own mental fortitude and physical well being is incredibly important to being able to function at my best.

How I keep it Together To Stay Well:

I commute almost exclusively by bike year round on my cyclocross bike in the summer and fatbike in the winter. This allows me to stay active without having to worry about going to the gym. Also fighting for a Strava segment after a long day at work is a great way to burn off some stress and reset.

When I travel I make sure to eat the freshest food I can while staying hydrated (especially when doing the jaunt to Australia). I always pack a pair of running shoes to enable me to sneak in a workout regardless of my environment.

Outside of working out I keep things in focus by subscribing to a variation of “getting things done” (, where I keep track of all my tasks and communications in a way that helps keep my life organized. If I can deal with a task in less than 5 minutes I take care of it right away, otherwise I file it away to deal with at a later date.

You can connect with David on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.



Sabrina Massola
Assistant Winemaker - Michael Mondavi Family Estate (USA)

Years in the Industry:
12. I started as a harvest intern at Foster Winery in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, making Layer Cake Malbec for the US market. Then I moved to Chile before arriving in Napa Valley in July 2014 where I now work with the Michael Mondavi Family.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
I can’t make my mind shut off. I am constantly thinking about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow. My gears are always turning! At harvest, one of the biggest challenges is lack of sleep. Fermentations are part of my life, they are like my babies and I do everything I can to take care of them. My digestion suffers when I am under stress and harvest is the most stressful time of the year.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well: 
I live surrounded by vines and I love to go for a walk with my dogs every day. I love drawing very much and use cleaning as a way to de-stress.  At work I like to write things down so I can align my thoughts and get them out of my head. When I wake up I drink warm water with lemon juice and I feel like a Superwoman! I eat boiled eggs and take ginger and cinnamon capsules to help me digest food and sugars. I call home regularly because my family is a huge support system for me.

How can we connect with you?
You can connect with Sabrina on Instagram and FaceBook or find her wines at Michael Mondavi Family Estate


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Katherine Cole

Contributing Editor at SevenFifty Daily; Executive Producer and Host of The Four Top; Communications Director at Vin Agency. (USA)

Years In Industry:
21. In 1997 I began working in Chicago and LA as a magazine editor for the group that is today known as Modern Luxury Media. Our beat was luxury lifestyle, which of course included high-end beverages, and that was when I got hooked. By 2000, I had moved out to Portland and started freelancing with a couple of monthly beverage columns, then, after a couple of years, I talked The Oregonian into hiring me as their wine columnist. I stuck with The Oregonian and freelanced for other outlets until 2015. I am really enjoying working for SevenFifty Daily now. I'm also dipping my toe into the design, branding, and marketing side these days with Vin Agency. This has greatly broadened my understanding of the industry and I'm lucky enough to work alongside some brilliant people.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Lack of sleep. That is what hits me hardest. I was not built to function on four hours. I fall apart. But I'm the single mom of two busy kids, and I have four jobs, so.... something has got to give. And drinking too much wine with industry folks unfortunately goes hand-in-hand with a night of poor sleep. But we all know that!
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I almost never miss a day of exercise, even if it's just a long walk with the dogs. I would rather exercise for 45 minutes than sleep in for 45 minutes. It is a massive stress reducer and it balances my emotions. And it brings me profound inner feelings of vitality and strength. 
I am addicted to Barre3 and yoga, but I also can't live without the outdoors. I am a recovering runner dealing with a foot injury right now, so I am just getting into road cycling. Anything to be outside!
I also get around in my everyday life by walking and cycling as much as possible. My around-town vehicle is a Dutch granny bike with a wooden wine box on the front and a couple of panniers on the back. I can fit all my groceries, laptop, gym bag, etc. on it. I have been riding it for about 10 years now. I love it so much.

You can connect with Katherine through her website or across social media channels Twitter, and Instagram at @kcoleuncorked



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Kate McIntyre MW
Master of Wine, Marketing Manager, Moorooduc Estate (Australia)

Years In Industry:
My parents purchased our Moorooduc Estate in 1982 but my  experience began in 1996 at Philip Murphy - a fine wine retailer in Melbourne . Here I quickly discovered my enjoyment of wine could become a career and life project. I had wanted to perform, write, teach and travel but hadn’t linked all that in with a wine job until meeting some early influential mentors and life friends. 

That was the springboard for me to study for my Master of Wine qualification which I passed in 2010, while wine writing and working for Trembath & Taylor Importers.  It eventually lead me back to the family business as I came to recognise the quality and individual value of what my parents had done in a world wine context.

Today, I'm part of the winemaking and management team which I love, although working for the family business brings extra stress as much as extra rewards!
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Australia is so far away from everywhere so whenever I travel, the experience of long haul flight and jet lag are a nasty combo especially in my neck and shoulders.  Massage therapy helps a lot as does yoga.

Too many wine dinners - too much food and alcohol; not finding time for exercise; airplanes and hotels.  I am a hedonist so learning when enough is enough is a long term project for me.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
A glass of water before every glass of wine.  Tea instead of wine or coffee. When I am travelling I double the water consumption and try not to eat or drink alcohol on long haul flights just to combat the boredom!

When I don’t get to chose what I eat, don’t eat everything on the plate. Yoga has become my saviour- in the lounge between connections is the best (for me if not the other passengers!) and whenever I can a long, brisk walk in the sun. And big cuddles with my poodles Pedro and Polly whenever possible.

You can connect with Kate on Instagram and Twitter or visit her family’s winery at Moorooduc Estate.



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Erica Crawford

Owner / Managing Principal, Loveblock Farms New Zealand. Former Co-founder of Kim Crawford Wines (yes THAT Kim Crawford) (New Zealand)

Years In Industry:

Since 1996. I co-founded Kim Crawford Wines as one of the first “virtual wineries” in New Zealand. After serving a non-compete post our sale to Constellation Brands, we now focus on organic farming and deep sustainability, producing wines under the Loveblock brand.  My journey to organics has changed my outlook on life a lot. 

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

I struggle with balance and delegation. I tend to pick up the slack in all areas of business as we are a small family owned company again. Exercise, even a quick stretch, gets pushed to the bottom of the list when demands pile up. I’m also formalizing my viticulture knowledge and am two papers away from that Post Graduate degree. Some say I don’t need it, but it is something I want to tick off. 

Oh and I really like tasting flavours, I love food but it’s now piling up around my middle aged girth!

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

I’ve learnt the importance of a good sleep. Alcohol definitely interferes with sleep quality, so I try not to have that last glass at dinner too close to bed time. When I do, I pay the price. I aim for three to four wine-free days a week. It takes focus I must say, but my general mental capacity is definitely better. It doesn’t always happen, and I have generally cut down in my overall wine consumption.

Travel is challenging for all of us. I’m interested in the history of cities, so I walk those cities and towns I spend time in. There is something good and beautiful in each little town, so I seek that out. On a recent trip to my homeland of South Africa, my sister taught me to crochet, and doing those little granny squares is really therapeutic believe it or not! I’m now working on a cover for a small cushion :)

 How Can We Connect With You?
You can connect with Erica on Instagram and Twitter or  FaceBook


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Amy Navor

Brand Director, Artesa Vineyards & Winery & Anna de Codorníu Cava, The Codorníu Raventós Group (USA)

Years In Industry:

15+ years. I've been in the wine, beer and spirits industry my entire career, since my first college internship as an External Affairs intern at big global wine company.

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:

Making working out a top priority is often the biggest challenge. I am currently finishing my MBA, so my free time is heavily scheduled and often I become so enthralled in either a project, it leaves minimal time for a workout. If anyone has any "outside the box" tips for me I would love to connect.

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:

Adventure + Friends + Cooking  In the winter I am drawn to the mountains through my passion for skiing, from dropping in on a steep peak to gliding through fresh powder. In the summer I try to spend as much of my weekend time outside near the water, whether it's a beach trail hike or an attempt to paddle out. 

I am an introverted extrovert, so I need "Amy time" to recharge, replenish and regroup daily. Living in San Francisco my friends have become my family. I have a group text with two of my dearest gal pals which is a great way to stay connected given our busy travel schedules. 

My kitchen is my sanctuary. I enjoy the art of home cooking, feeding my friends and exploring disruptive wine pairings (Cava + Young Manchego + Mortadella = key to my soul). For me, healthy cooking means sourcing from local, seasonal ingredients, so if I ever invite you over for pasta night, the pasta will be freshly homemade. My weekly routine includes 1/2 meal prep and 1/2 simple and healthy recipes that I can whip up on the fly. 

How Can We Connect With You?
I stay connected online via Instagram and Twitter or find me on FaceBook or  LinkedIn



Kurtis Kolt

Vancouver-Based Wine Consultant, Writer, Judge and Enthusiast (Canada)

Years In Industry:
26 years; the first 18 working my way from bussing to GM and Wine Director positions at various restaurants, and then the last eight years consulting with restaurants, presenting seminars, curating events, freelance writing, and judging competitions.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
The erratic schedule of being self-employed. When things are consistent, work-wise, it’s easy to ensure I’m eating well, exercising, sleeping well, and so on. When things get hectic and stressful, it can be a little too easy to not make time for proper nutrition and exercise, something that’s compounded when travelling.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I’m still figuring this out! In fact, recognizing that wellness is a journey and not necessarily a result has helped me grow. Yoga has been important for me over the last few years. While it’s great physical exercise, the mental aspect is way more important for me.

I work a lot, and when I’m not working, I’m socializing, I’m devouring media, my mind is often a hive of activity. Doing yoga is among the only times when I’m truly mindful and in the moment. If I put off yoga for too long, everything else can fall apart quickly. It still happens, but with less frequency; it’s a pretty easy horse to get back up on. Fortunately, it can be done anywhere, and even ten or 15 minutes can make a big difference.
Also, I think we’re a lot more open to discussing wellness challenges in our industry as of late. Open, honest conversations with both local and international colleagues has been great for awareness that these efforts aren’t necessary solitary ones. Mutual support and encouragement definitely go a long way.
How can we connect with you?
You can connect with me online at I post on Twitter, Instagram or you can reach out to me on FaceBook


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Michaela Morris

DipWSET, wine writer, educator and presenter (United Kingdom)

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 - iHeart Radio (USA)

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 (France)


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 Aspen Steakhouse 316 Bartender (USA)

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 (USA)

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 (USA)

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 (Italy / USA)

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 (USA)

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 (USA)

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 (USA)

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 (USA)

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