It’s happening and it will continue happening more often: it happens to meet wine entrepreneurs who are more or less half our age. The encounter is vitalizing, regenerating, emotionally captivating: when the enthusiasm is intact, fresh, clean, it is highly contagious and we feel the benefits for long.
But are we still able to capture and transmit to our readers the spark we see in young producers’ eyes? Are we able to tell their vision, their projects? Do we have the right language to give voice to their dreams?
These are questions that we ask ourselves very often at Wine Meridian and a straightforward and transparent answer confirms the existence of some of our limits each time. An awareness that led us to make a courageous choice, which we have been keeping faith with for some time now: 50% of our team is made up of professionals under the age of 25.
As Editor in Chief, I experience this reality as an enormous privilege: our young and very young collaborators represent the freshness and energy that the wine world desperately needs today. I look around and see familiar and recognized faces, mature, experienced, great connoisseurs of the mechanisms of a sector that is often perched on itself; let’s face it, always the same faces.
Surrounding oneself with young people has a price, which is paid for in dedication, care, monitoring, support, encouragement; in the first place, therefore, in time, a scarce resource by definition; secondly in the active presence, that of the “great pater familias father”, who, like any authoritative leader, must be able to identify the richness of each resource, enhance it and trace the lines of an evolutionary path that leads to it from professional life – fundamental ingredient of personal life – the right degree of satisfaction.
But there is also an emotional commitment, which in Wine Meridian we feel very strongly: the one of motivation and charge. It is us “veterans” who, more than a few times, receive the disappointment of the young man who does not feel considered within a panel of renowned colleagues and who returns from an event without the enthusiasm with which he started.
How can young people be accredited if the target market does not trust them?
Let’s face it: over time we have become slower, more tough, less spontaneous, more formal. Maybe more plastered, and we don’t like it at all.
This is why at Wine Meridian we continue to invest in young people, assuming all the risks involved, including that of understanding when the fabric or determination to follow the path of journalism is lacking, and in those cases, feeling responsible towards a young professional life, we take on the unpleasant task of speaking straight to them.
We will continue to train and accredit young talents to give to the world of wine, which we love very much, new resources, and we will continue to carry out our task of disseminators in the most serious, but also flexible and “pop” way we are capable of.
And that is why, where we can, we send our young people forward, to meet companies, to do interviews, to attend events. And certainly not because Fabio or I don’t want to go, but because we are convinced that only in this way can we make our team grow.
But the world of wine must help us, leaving room for young people, trusting them, recognizing their merits and their winning weapons.
The value of a teacher is also and above all seen by the young people who surround them.
And you, what relationship do you have with the new generations in your work teams?