2020 – Thoughts and stories

I am Yvonne Christensen, entrepreneur, mother of five daughters (yes five!), wife, carer, photographer, and world traveller. I was born in the United Kingdom; however, my roots are in Nigeria where both my parents were born. I have lived in several countries other than the UK including Germany, Denmark and most recently Switzerland. I often think of myself as a nomad, roaming and learning as I travel around the globe. My children have been the centre of my life; however, now they are in school or living their adult lives and I have decided it is time for me to explore and share my adventures with all of you who have common interests and passions through YSC Life.

We’re in the final quarter of 2020, and I can at last share my thoughts and stories with my Friends. The last year I have been pretty much underground with head down, focused on study, late nights and early mornings. After such a long silence, there is so much to say! It has been a year dominated by heartbreak, fear and so many reasons to be downhearted – yet those who know me well, will know that I refuse to sit back and let bad things dominate us. We are all still fighting COVID-19, but we are learning and coping each day – such is the spirit of human beings!

I have now completed my viticulture & oenology degree and graduated as a very happy student of life and winemaker-in-the-making, with my life-long passion for nature. I am now able to practice viticulture in my own vineyard and producing wine that is 100% mine (officially, a Négociant Manipulant). I am finally satisfied and extremely happy and it is a wonderful feeling.

It is one of my traits, to work hard, go forward and never give up, which is why I am still recovering from the back-breaking work of harvesting our grape crop in Champagne. The barrels and tanks are now on “malo” and are looking good.

Some of you will know that I am now the proud owner of a beautiful 1879 heritage stone house and winery in the Blanc de Blancs village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Restoration is underway and we are in partially organic production and hope to be fully organic in 2021. Our 100-year-old gravity flow basket press gives the gentlest processing of the grapes and the most natural steps of good winemaking, together with low energy and sustainable carbon-neutral production. We will soon be ready to rock ‘n roll (I’ll keep you posted in this blog), and visits will be welcomed late 2022. So even though our champagne celebrations may be limited to smaller gatherings and outdoors in the vineyards, it is the quality of life that is important – not the quantity.

So, as we prepare for a festive season that may still involve separation from our loved ones, let’s be thankful for technologies that at enable us to share smiles, laughs, tears and joy remotely. We can each perhaps make a toast with a bottle of bubbles still – although celebrating within our own little ‘bubble.’ More soon. Stay safe.

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