Here we are – at the end of 2023! I always love doing an overview of the top performing blogs to see what appealed most to readers in the past year. It seems that we can broadly categorise this year’s weekly blogs into three focus areas: Wine and its place, Influence and inspiration and Big picture blessings.
Wine business is the original reason for my blog. I always enjoy sharing insights about wines I’ve tried, wine places I’ve visited and wine people I’ve met. Obviously, my take on the economy and society are often also seen from a wine perspective. Wine and its place are so interlinked when it comes to quality and style, but also tourism and community. This year one of the top performing posts was my insights into the 2023 Wine Grape Harvest and initial concerns about its size with Small Volume, Big League – Volume is not the whole story. We had a look at the two favourites of fermentation in the Culture of Bubbles and Bread, focusing on South African Cap Classique Sparkling wine and bread made with sourdough culture that doesn’t compromise on quality or wellness. We enjoyed authentic hospitality on a walk of Italian wine country (The Charm of Hidden Italy) and saw a community coming together as the important tourism industry of the Franschhoek Wine Valley had to recover from two floods in six months (What’s on in Franschhoek). In Events Evaluated we considered festivals and events – a big part of wine tourism’s appeal, but how successful are they really?
It’s almost impossible to miss the inspirations offered by a busy year of business and the blessings of beauty (from where we travel to what we eat and drink). I was inspired by the Singapore dream, the power of pressure as displayed by the Springbok rugby team, how experience and enthusiasm play off against each other and how influence has become the new currency of marketing. Even at ProWein 2023, the power of influence was clear when Kylie Minogue’s pop culture was used to bring an interesting perspective to the wine trend story.
Some of it might have been enhanced by Covid, but it seems that certain aspects of business have changed forever. In the Brand Being we discussed how brands today are not all about business or a guarantee for quality and style. They’re also about purpose and people. In Staff vs Strategy we looked at the expectations of employees in the workplace. Has the employee dethroned the customer as king?
For a guy who likes to do things at a quick pace, reflection doesn’t come naturally, but sometimes something beautiful just happens, forcing you to slow down, evaluate and enjoy. I always preach about being open-minded, so I am happy that some of the year’s blogs fit into a category that focuses on the big picture and urges us to be mindful of beauty, open to opportunity and ultimately, grateful.
Thank you for joining me on my journey through 2023. Wishing you a blessed festive season and looking forward to another exhilarating ride in 2024!
This Year’s Top 5 Hein on Wine Blogs:
- Small Volume, Big League – Volume is not the whole story. What to expect from the 2023 SA wine grape harvest.
- Events Evaluated – Festivals and events are fun, but are they really successful?
- Pop Culture at ProWein 2023 – Wine Trends and the Princess of Pop
- The Brand Being – Brands shouldn’t be all business, they’re also about purpose and people.
- Staff vs Strategy – Has the employee dethroned the customer as king?