From the Vine Up: Noël Burgess Left Tech to Become a Full time Wine Influencer on Instagram

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Social media is a world of changing trends evolving through stories and experiences shared by influencers who connect with people.

Amidst this sea of stories, one person has managed to stand out with his unique perspective that narrates tales of the otherwise hidden world of the wine industry. Noël Burgess is a digital creator, journalist, entrepreneur, host, and speaker who is taking Instagram by storm with his rapidly growing follower base of wine lovers.

Following the highly visible 2023 tech layoffs, Noël decided to venture into the intriguing world of wine.  

As a resident of California for half a decade, it was only in 2016 that Noël got the chance to visit a Sonoma County winery.

This is because he was raised in a Caribbean family where spirits and cocktails were preferred over wine.

Thankfully some of his family members had memberships at various wineries, and that’s how Noël discovered his passion: delving deeper into winemaking and the lives of people associated with it. 

In March 2020, he started his social media journey to share his knowledge of wine with the world. The idea was to make the wine industry more accessible and create an inclusive community of wine lovers.

His visits to the wineries of Napa and Sonoma with family members became a turning point in his life as he first realized that wine is not just a libation but a means of bringing people together. 

Initially, Noël faced rejection when he asked to do visits and interviews, and people were even skeptical about his knowledge and credibility on social media.

However, he received valuable advice from industry insiders that taught him to take an authentic approach to his content, which helped him gradually develop recognition on Instagram.

The pandemic further assisted him in delving deeper into the wine industry as reservations and visits were easier to get. Living in the heart of wine country also fuelled Noël’s journey as a digital creator and journalist.

Noël stands out in his niche for being authentic and telling unvoiced stories. Starting his journey with a genuine curiosity about the wine industry, Noël quickly developed a fresh perspective that resonated with people in the digital realm.

Noël’s focus is more on sharing the stories of people who are part of this industry and shining the spotlight on their life experiences. 

Transitioning from tech to social media wasn’t easy for Noël. He had to learn the ins and outs of the wine industry, something that was previously completely unknown to him.

Mastering the intricate algorithms of various social media platforms was also quite challenging for Noël, which further complicated his writing—but not for long. He soon learned to balance social media and journalism.

His expertise eventually led to a nomination at the Roses and Rose Awards for Journalist of the Year in 2023 and Art of Plating in 2021 for Wine Writing. 

Noël believes the wine industry goes beyond the glamorous products we see. It is more about the people and their unknown stories.

He values connecting with people more than professional achievements. “No matter how smart you are or how well-versed you are in your field, those things don’t outweigh the importance of how you treat people or the relationships you cultivate,” he emphasizes. 

Looking to the future, Noël Burgess has plans to promote diversity and inclusivity through his writing. He also wants to mentor others in the media industry to follow in his footsteps.

He is aiming for an Emmy and a James Beard Award in writing and/or social media because he believes in “staying humble and hungry” no matter how much success he attains.

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