Covid 19 coronavirus: Pandemic claims Kiwi wine reviewer based in Switzerland

A New Zealand woman living and working in Switzerland for more than a decade has died of Covid-19.

Wine reviewer Nina Bobillier, who had part-Swiss and part-New Zealand heritage, succumbed in less than a fortnight to the deadly infection on Monday according to tributes posted online.

Her devastated family based in New Zealand have spoken of their shock and appreciation for the love and support pouring in from friends across the globe.

“Thank you for all the lovely messages that people have sent to our family about my beautiful sister Nina, who passed away 7pm New Zealand time on Monday,” wrote her sister Caroline Botting on Facebook.

“My mum Marjory, Neen’s father Claude, sister Kate, Cam, Leo and Alex and I appreciate your love and support,” she wrote.

There would be a funeral in Switzerland and a celebration of her life in New Zealand in coming weeks.

Devastated friend and Master of Wine Robin Kick wrote a heartfelt post revealing the pair had only just planned new adventures to go on a few weeks ago.

“Now those beautiful moments will be sealed in time and will remain memories. We will no longer be able to add to them. Covid took away your life away way too soon.

“I will always remember your warmth and light. Please know that we all loved you. Rest well with the angels.”

She said it was difficult to believe she was writing an obituary to her dear friend.

“I feel like I am in parallel universe, speaking with another’s voice and writing with another’s hands. It just doesn’t feel real.”

She described her connection with Bobillier as a “spirit sister”, a person she would feel close to forever and a bond that was effortless and natural.

“Your fairy-like presence floated you through life with innate joy, a forever smile and a palpable weightlessness, and I admired you greatly for it. When I was stressed, I would sometimes think, “What would Nina do?”

She said the deadly infection appeared to have taken her friend’s life in little over a week.

Another friend spoke of her sunny demeanour.

“Nina Bobillier, you got carried away by this dirty sickness. You are and will remain a beautiful person always positive,” wrote friend Marie Tugend-Farias who added a heartbroken emoji on the post.

Bobillier, who worked as a wine journalist based in Lavaux, held multiple diplomas from Switzerland’s leading wine school.

A biography on Newly Swissed said the writer, who contributed to the flagship online magazine, had previously worked in the European country’s wine and tourism industry as a wine writer, a wine educator in hotel and finishing schools, a tour operator and wine guide.

Bobillier had over 14 years of professional experience in the industry and earned multiple diplomas from Ecole du Vin de Changins, Switzerland’s leading wine school.

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