Content Vs Coverage: Noël Burgess Blends Influencing And Journalism In This New Multi-Media Age

Red or white– That’s the extent of many people’s wine knowledge. Ask them about the varietals, vintages, terroirs, or pairings, and they draw a blank. To the uninitiated, the world of wine is impenetrable, locked behind a sturdy door of jargon, ritual, and tradition. Noël Burgess, a multi-hyphenate digital creator and journalist, is one of the few bridging the gap between the average consumer and the wine connoisseur through digital influencing and astute journalism.

Like most of his audience, Burgess is a newcomer to the wine world. Raised by Caribbean parents, wine was not prevalent in his house when he was growing up. In fact, he never bought a bottle of wine until he moved to California, so the esoteric language of wine was very foreign to him. Burgess’ interest in the time-honored tradition of wine grew in 2020 when he visited various wineries around Napa and Sonoma.

“I fell in love with the experience because it brings people together,” Burgess recounts. However, he knew most people couldn’t access this exclusive community, and thus began his journey of building up diversity. With nothing but an Instagram account and modest knowledge about wine, Burgess set out on his mission. After several consultations, he knew there were just as many people who knew as much or as little about wine as he did, so he chose to be truthful about what he knew and what he didn’t.

With the pandemic sweeping across the world, everything was also slowing down, and Burgess didn’t have to wait for months to get a reservation in a winery. That, and his proximity to many wine regions, worked in his favor. Burgess seized the moment and delved into the industry.

His honest curiosity and passion for telling untold stories resonated with his followers. As a newcomer, Burgess fresh eyes allowed him to see the industry differently and pick up many gems long-time insiders may overlook. His audience loves the authenticity with which he approaches each angle, which has solidified his credibility. Burgess was a 2023 Roses and Rose Awards nominee for Journalist of the Year and featured in the Art of Plating 2021 for the wine writing category.

Getting here wasn’t straightforward. As a newcomer with no credibility, Burgess faced a lot of wariness and rejection when he approached professionals about a visit or an interview. The content creation world had just as many hurdles. Understanding the complex social media algorithms and the ins and outs of posting took some time. Additionally, Burgess had to find the right balance between being an influencer and a journalist.

“My credibility in the social media sphere at times was positioned as a lack of credibility as a journalist, which I have had to push back against,” Burgess explains. Over the past three years, Burgess has demonstrated he can effectively bridge the social media influence space and traditional journalism, as his multiple accolades attest. And even though the products and experiences he covers are fun and alluring, Burgess respects the industry for what it truly is – a livelihood for many.

As his career in this space grows, Burgess is focused on not only expanding knowledge or gaining followers but on forging meaningful relationships as well. His ultimate goal is to continue highlighting diverse people and experiences while mentoring others in the media space, blending the art of the influencer with age-old journalism skills.

Written in partnership with Shannon Sparks