Some people drown their sorrows in the bottle. Others use that bottle — and what’s inside — for inspiration. Inspiration about purpose, that is, and fighting the uphill battles that define the work of our lives. In that spirit, here are ten favorite inspirational quotes I’ve heard as I’ve reported on the world of wine.
There’s something involved in this that’s greater than we are. You can break it down to science and yeasts, but there’s something magical. Once you’ve experienced it, there’s nothing else you want to do. The glamour part has nothing to do with it. It’s that hard part. It’s spending time in the vineyards. It’s spending time with your hands, creating. It’s working really hard at something that you love. — Hardy Wallace, winemaker, Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery
The elevation is so high, no one’s grown grapes there before. The wind from Antarctica is so cold. The soil is rather difficult. All the elements are against you. But it was the dream. You need one of those things. You need to think you’re ten foot tall and bullet proof. You need to think nothing can go wrong. — Erica Crawford, Loveblock wines of New Zealand
I think people are hungry for authenticity, as it pertains to wine or clothing or experience. They want authenticity. I believe in my heart that the natural course of evolution is a movement away from the industrial experience toward something that’s more authentic. – Matt Licklider, co-owner of LIOCO Winery
I would stay [in the newsroom] until 3 am “in case something happened.” But I mostly had nothing to do between 1 and 3 am so I used that time to write. And I chose to write about food and wine. Along the way I carved out a role for myself. – Eric Asimov, wine writer for the New York Times
I love it when someone comes in who’s self-conscious about loving sweet wine. I love turning them on to an amazing wine that surprises them, for what it is and because they like it. They come in with the perspective that they’re not sophisticated about sweet wines, yet they’ll enjoy one of the more sophisticated wines on earth. — Maximilian Kast, Wine Director at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, North Carolina
I don’t know why but I love this kind of project, when it’s a little difficult and when you have a history. The beginning of the story of viticulture was in the Middle East, and it was a different generation than the science and logistics of today. My passion is to go into the past to make wine. Wine is something cultural, not only something to drink. I always try to find the identity of the place. – Stephane Derenoncourt, international wine consultant to Château Marsyas in Lebanon and Château Bargylus in Syria among many others
We don’t do ratings because they’re the opposite of empowerment. Ratings say that you can’t trust your own palate. — Alan Kropf, founder of Mutineer magazine
Wine is this spot between the center of the earth and the center of the universe, and there is something that’s happening with or without us. We just happen to be a gentle participant, or just an observer. — Hardy Wallace, winemaker, Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery
Our goal is to inject an element of novelty and renewal into channels that have remained unmodified for ages. – Stevie Kim, Managing Director at VinItaly International. Kim brings an outsider’s freshness to wine marketing with disruptive ideas like HACK WINE, a 24-hour non-stop marathon that will take place on March 1 and 2.
There is constantly somebody who’s making something, whether it’s music or art or wine, that pushes the edges of what was previously thought possible. And in doing that, if the person makes something that’s fundamentally good, it drives the parameters of what is good and makes them a little bit wider. – Len Rothenberg, owner, Federal Wine & Spirits in Boston
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