Inspiring Messages from Around the World

28 October 2021
Author: Jeannie Cho Lee


2020 and 2021 were challenging years for everyone, especially for those in the wine, F&B and tourism industries. The messages below inspiring, both professionally and personally. It shows how resilient and strong we are as a community and how important people (and wine) are in our lives. I hope these moving messages from around the world lightens your heart and makes you smile!


The messages are listed in alphabetical order by surname:


“Drinking a great wine is more than a short hedonistic pleasure…It is more about connecting with the soul of the terroir where it came from and with the people who made it. Like sharing your feelings about music, art or literature.” – Florence Cathiard, Proprietor of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte


“This crisis period, although distressful and hard for so many people, has also helped me to step out of the daily business routine and the non-stop and demanding international travels. It has therefore allowed me to spend more precious personal time with family and friends and to use digital technology to fulfil many professional obligations in a way that we never imagined we could do before. I will not be retiring yet, but at 62 and after 40 years of devoting my life to developing vineyards, crafting delicious Chilean wines, and enticing world wine lovers with our unique qualities, I plan to make a stop to reflect more deeply into how to organize the future years of my life in perhaps a more balanced way. Learning more about sustainability, succession planning and giving back to our society should keep me busy and happy!” – Eduardo Chadwick, President of Errazuriz


“This pandemic has hurt us all, and it isn’t done yet.  But wine will shine through. Wine is social, wine is about friendship and love, flirtation and wit and warmth. We’ve been short of all of these, but as the pandemic fades, wine is going to bring all of these pleasures back.” – Oz Clarke, author & communicator


“The pandemic taught me the value of slowing down and savoring my family, favorite friendships and best bottles. We opened wines we were saving for special occasions and made ordinary evenings extraordinary!” – Ann Colgin, Founder of Colgin Cellars


“What Covid-19 tried to tell us is that we humans are much too proud and greedy. For those who survived, let’s toast a big ‘cheers’! And for those who struggled, let’s start again. Life is full of rejoicing when it is with good wines!” – KP Eun, Owner of Casa del Vino Korea


“The pandemic has taken away so much, but we are a resilient species and the culture of wine lies at the heart of our notions of fellowship, hospitality and community. As we move into a world in which we creatively coexist with COVID, we have learned to treasure even more our shared moments and bottles.” – Doug Frost MW, MS


“While challenging, this period of time has provided us the opportunity to reflect, and focus our attention on strengthening our team as well as generational transition; an opportunity I am grateful for as I step into the leadership role of our family winegrowing domain.” – Will Harlan, Managing Director of Harlan Estates


“Though we feel so lucky to have been spared any major illness in our family, the onset of the pandemic left us feeling incredibly isolated because like so many people with families spread all over the world we were confronted with the fact that many loved ones were no longer just a (relatively painless) plane journey away.  The positive flip side is that once we decided to take the plunge and travel to see family in New Zealand we really had to commit and spend several months so my 2 and 4 year-old got to spend a very special half-year with their septuagenarian grandparents, something we’d probably never have done otherwise.” – Sarah Heller MW


“Three lessons I learnt during Covid: 1) Time is finite – you never get it back so don’t waste a moment due to inaction. 2) Life in the vineyard goes on regardless of any virus: vineyards still need to be pruned, grapes harvested and wine made. 3) What an amazing, uplifting, cerebral, creative and above all life affirming drink wine can be!” – Michael Hill Smith MW


“I treasure my family and friends much more now and find myself appreciating wine more deeply. It helps to have more time to broaden my horizons such as finishing my PhD, a renewed interest in fine arts, literature, poetry and golf. There is so much beauty and goodness in life and in wine to celebrate!” – Jeannie Cho Lee MW


“While the world is suffering from the pandemic and everyone longs for a brighter future, I believe the wine scene certainly has improved to a higher level in both the on and off-trade. As it becomes possible to enjoy dishes from various restaurants at home, a wider range of options for wine pairing became available and more deliciousness brought to homes. With this level up comes requirement for more effort and attempts from restaurants to perform a higher service level demanded by consumers in the future. The world wine scene has shifted to a higher gear and I’m willing to face it as always.” – Kenichi Ohashi MW 


“I have re-discovered the absolute pleasure of taking my time over a bottle of wine and more important to travel from one continent to the other by exploring unknown wine regions to me. I have sadly found how little I know about wine.”  Jean-Guillaume Prats, CEO of Domaine Barons de Rothschild Lafite


“Throughout lockdown, instead of me going to the wine, the wine came to me, and more specifically to my desk at home. I really enjoyed being able to spend more time with each wine than is possible at professional tastings, and being able to enjoy selected bottles with food, the next day, etc etc. My neighbours were very happy with the leftovers too. See” – Jancis Robinson MW


“The wine industry is filled with exciting developments, especially during difficult times. I actually saw more agility, creativity and diversity in the wine field ever since the pandemic hit the world.” – Gus Zhu MW