The festive season is here. Under normal circumstances our diaries would be filled with social events, but this year our schedules are quieter despite that having made it to December 2020, really deserves celebration. Of course the Covid-threat is having a negative effect on socialising, but is it only because I’m involved in the pressured wine and tourism environment, or are we generally just lacking a celebratory spirit?
If I look at the poor performance of Black Friday in South Africa, it seems that Covid’s ability to stick around has us all a bit battle weary. Not being in a mood to spend might be because we’ve re-evaluated our priorities and are less focused on the material things. It might be because we are either cash-strapped or more careful with how we spend. But not being in the mood for something new at half the price tells me that 2020 has taken its toll. With the second wave on the agenda and uncertainty in just about every area of life, it is hard to stay positive. Preparing for the AGM of our local tourism industry, I found that even I struggled to find ways in which to motive the hospitality industry.
Uncertainty can often be worse than knowing your fate and with holiday plans, Christmas get-togethers and financial survival all up in the air, everyone seems a bit depressed. But of course, there are always something to celebrate and this week, we at La Motte, are celebrating 50 years in the ownership of the family of my wife, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg. Looking back over half a century, we can’t be anything but grateful. From the initial planting of vineyards and restoration of the historic buildings on the estate, to establishing the quality expectations associated with the La Motte brand today. It has been a blessed journey, even though it has not always been easy. Similar to what we experience today, with something bigger than ourselves, the last 50 years in South Africa’s history has been a bumpy ride with many challenge within our industry and when it comes to international relations.
Realising your dreams is not something one achieves in isolation. Being able to celebrate 50 years means that we have had support and cooperation and inspiration from those around us. And this year, with the exceptional Covid challenges, we again appreciate the importance of community – whether it is from our local Franschhoek Valley, the bigger South African wine and tourism industries, our global network of co-workers and contributors and of course loyal supporters.
Despite a negative environment, today we are so thankful that we can celebrate wonderful relationships and support. If the La Motte journey has taught my anything, it is that sometimes, you have to only focus on the here and now. Of course I would usually preach to stay on trend, to research and plan, but in dire circumstances, sometimes we just have to hold on and try to survive. But holding on can be quite the challenge. Support is of the essence. We have to support those around us and we also have to accept support when it comes our way.
Even with an uncertain future, just sticking to your guns for now and embracing those around you, will bring you something to celebrate. And hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will have more to add to our celebrations!