02 Jan ‘Goodbye’ 2021, ‘Hello’ 2022
The world’s peoples are displaced, confused, scrambling, opinionated, split and afraid. We are more conscious of the vulnerability of our lives and our planet than usual. That is the legacy of 2021.
I am amongst the ranks of the confused, concerned and sometimes fearful, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to live and work, much the same as I did before the pandemic.
My journey and my plans may have been disrupted and delayed, but I have not lost sight on the pathway ahead, and what I want to achieve. Flexibility, patience and understanding in these difficult times, are our greatest assets.
On the positive side of this troubled world, my champagnes journey has taken a new direction. Not so much a ’silver lining’ but a matter of adapting and finding a new path.
I bought in consultants to support my small new champagne business, rather than trying to accomplish everthing single-handed, with only my family for support. I learned how to ‘let go’ and to delegate the tasks which has freed up my time to focus on other areas of the business. This has been a good year for consolidating all my hard work as a sole trader. Finally today, I feel I can actually start to ’run’ my business. rather than my business ‘ running’ me.
Achieving my dream has meant re-educating myself – going to university to do a Wine Science degree. This single step back to ‘school,’ was the single leap forward that determined what I have today. Without the knowledge and experience – the ‘backbone’ that gives me true legitimacy as a brand and as a winemaker, I would have nothing but an empty shell of a business. In these days when money can buy almost anything, my startup might have worked – to be bought and sold by investors with no real love for the product. I can see how my champagne business might have failed without its ‘backbone’, but a massive investment of ’self’ has created something more authentic and unique for the world.
2021 brought another valuable learning about hiring professional services, which may not live up to their marketing hype. This has been one of the biggest financial losses for my business, and I realise the importance of digging deep to understand the suitability and competence of providers or agents. The world is full of ’scammers,’ (and I think I may have met them all!).
Still, the delights of Champagne, the region and its wonderful, friendly people have been energising and encouraging. The Champagne community works extremely hard together and is very supportive of each other. This may seem like they are somewhat insular, but now that I am myself a ‘neighbour’, I understand what makes the villages, wineries and individuals so proud and protective of their heritage. I love France – particularly the Champagne region – from beautiful and bustling Paris, to Lyon. The majestic high mountain ranges for skiing, undulating countryside and quaint, historic, old stone villages. From Chartres to Montresor, there are wine regions, local culinary delicacies, rivers, lakes, the cool coastal breezes from Brittany to Normandy and the hot southern Côte d’Azur. The French have a lot to be proud of.
It was not a great epiphany, but I can confirm that the business of Champagne is hard. It is an excruciatingly competitive market and not for the faint-hearted. If you own the root stock, that is, the vineyard, and are ‘hands on’ until the finished bottle until it is on the shelf, you stand a chance.
Being involved and authentic, and having an informed and uncompromising philosophy, is the key to success. I produce and sell my champagne with a strong environmental ethic, transparency and with respect for the magic and heritage behind the Champagne brand. Champagne is historic, extremely rare and delicate. A product of prehistoric geology, geographical location and hardline rules of production; champagne is one of the few things in this world that has kept its identity. This delightful sparking beverage is created with proud dedication and passion.
Picture highlighting my 2021
Champagne YSC was chosen proudly as Official Champagne Sponsors at EXPO DUBAI serving a selection of Les Cinq Filles cuvée at Monaco Pavillion
The theme of Expo Dubai “Connecting minds & Creating the future” go hand in hand with ideas shown , go visit Monaco Pavillion where they show a range of interactive cutting-edge technology which country Monaco present as their main attribute in being forerunners in sustainability
It was a great honor to be inaugurated as yet another Ambassador of Chardonnay grape , blanc de blancs. Thank you to Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for such a wonderful induction . Long live Champagne , the Chardonnay grape and blanc de blancs ⚔️
So good bye 2021!
Tragically, we lost loved ones, we were isolated from our friends and families and many lost their livelihood. There were many changes of mind and career. Families were split and many pulled together, stayed together, supported each other and survived .
‘Hello’ to 2022. Our faces are the same but we are changed. There is much to do and rebuild, much to repair, but still, a lot to be thankful for. The maze of life still sees us struggling to find our way, but we can choose our path with compassion, understanding and hopefully – still with moments of great humour. Let’s do more than just ‘hope’, and set our minds to a better future. Indications are that the virus may be weakening, and COVID may become a manageable part of our lives, like the flu.
In the meantime, for all new businesses, if you are struggling to ‘go it alone,’ there may be some strength in collaboration and togetherness in these disruptive times.
This year, many family Christmas photos were different – missing loved ones. COVID touched us too, with two of my daughters forced to spend Christmas in isolation. But families, like the human spirit, are resilient, and we endure, and stay together, stronger.
From my family to yours, wishing you a better 2022. Keep safe and stay as happy as you can.