One thing 2019 taught me is that my brain is busy. It always needs to be doing something. Whether it be organising, reflecting, meditating or studying, I need to be doing a thing. The good days are full of varied activities. From running, to baking, to working or drinking, I am never not busy (also, balance). I suppose it is natural to need constant stimulation to be satisfied. Of course, a major part of satisfaction will come from me. Satisfaction in my work life, just like your satisfaction in yours, will be a choice. I choose the wine industry and I choose to make it work. To make my mark. Exactly what this mark looks like at this stage is undefined. And that’s ok. I am just excited to enter an industry that looks to be favourable to the DIY career approach.
What do I mean by DIY? It’s not an IKEA table, it’s a serious career path. Exactly! The wine industry is booming all over the world. Gone are the days of stuffy old white guys telling people how to make and enjoy wine. In 2020 people are really stepping up their wine tastes and are wanting to try more than just a Yellow Tail or Chateau Margaux. That is, the good stuff in between is delicious and desirable. What do you know? The people want choices, they want to be enticed, surprised, comforted and impressed… At once. Increased global interest has a number of flow on effects. The one particularly interesting to me at this stage is the increase in career opportunities. Timing couldn’t be better.
So, a career in wine, if approached with both a sense of courage and calculated risk can become a DIY career. Not a grand straight line, but a bundle of smaller, more medium sized lines, zigging and zagging as they feel. I say “out with the book and doing things by it, and in with doing things that feel terrifying and right.”
That will be how magic is made in 2020 and beyond.
The way I see things playing out, the wine industry should allow me, and others like me, with the opportunity to shape something that looks like more than a your average freelancer. To shape a career out of multiple side-hustles. Hear me out. For people with a buffet of interests and the ability to adapt to most environments, the idea of doing the same tasks day in and day out does not make sense. It feels like being stuffed into a little box. I’ve been there. It’s not for me. So the idea of entering an industry that allows room for passion, entrepreneurship and individuality is the perfect remedy. It’s exciting. Perhaps the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? Ha. Or perhaps, at the very least, a few parts and projects playing together over time will provide just what I need. I’m no fool though, I know that there is a lot of hard work ahead of me. I’m ready.*
Beyond encouraging creative freedom, working on multiple projects also ties in nicely with my love for travel. Across 2019 and early 2020, I have visited most of the major French wine regions and various smaller European regions (too many to list). Side bar, please pinch me I must be living in a dream. Within wine, the potential for travel and living abroad is unparalleled. Think about it, there are few countries in the world that don’t allow wine. (I’ve been to a couple and don’t need to go back at this stage ha!). Now every time I plan a trip I’ll be thinking of the closest wine regions to visit. Learning about cultures through the lens of wine is fascinating for me. Likewise, learning about wine through the lens of culture is not bad too. Who knows where the future could take me? Wherever the wine is good!
Last but not least, I love wine people. Working with enough shitty or less than people across the years has taught me the value in workplace culture. The value in the work people. In my experience, real wine people are good people. Note the word “real”. There are still a lot of close minded jerks out there, of course. Much like all other parts of my life, I choose to let them brush off. It’s not my job to deal with more shitty people. Been there done that. So, chatting with lovely winemakers and genuine, humble lovers of wine is has shown me that there are plenty of good eggs (or good grapes, if you prefer) out there.
Wine is to be enjoyed. Talking about it is one of the best parts (behind tasting it, naturally). There will always be an interesting topic of wine conversation. If I (or you) find the right people, then wine chats can become magical moments themselves. There is certainly no shortage for new content as well. The fascinating blend of art and science that is wine making also means that styles, attitudes, customs and technologies will forever be evolving. Talk about stimulation. The idea of never ending research, reading and studying makes a lil nerd like me smile. Bring on dinner table conversations about new winemaking styles and friendly (fingers crossed) debates about Old v. New World. I can’t wait to hear friend’s thoughts on organic and biodynamic. If I can share some knowledge and perhaps open a few taste buds to something new, then that is success. Success for me, anyway.
So, there you have it. A second motivation for my jump into the wine industry is the prospect of shaping a life that aligns with my values. If crafted with attention, wine work should supply what I now demand. I need to work somewhere that gets me. The wine industry seems to. It gets my need for creative stimulation, my love for travel and my hope to share more magical moments. Like I said, wine is to be enjoyed. It’s about moments of appreciation, moments that make life… magical. You knew where I was taking that ha. Bring it on!
*Hit me up if you are interested in my current projects and future prospects.