Home Travel The Beginner’s Guide to Working a Wine Harvest • The Blonde Abroad

The Beginner’s Guide to Working a Wine Harvest • The Blonde Abroad

Keen about wine? Bored with sitting behind a laptop computer all day? Searching for an journey? If you happen to answered sure to all three of those, then this may occasionally simply be the golden ticket you’ve been looking for.

It’s not a job at a chocolate manufacturing facility, however it’s at a vineyard, and that’s mainly the identical factor, isn’t it? From purple-stained arms to watching the dawn over winding vineyards, Jenna of Tales of the Vineyards is letting us in on the secrets and techniques into working a wine harvest. Right here’s what she needed to say…

It’s humorous how life works out generally and the place some roads lead us. If anybody had requested me just a few years in the past if I’d see myself spending my days in plaid tops and farm boots whereas lined in wine stains, I little question would have laughed and adjusted the topic.

What began out as a love for wine paired with an itch for an abroad journey, quickly was among the best experiences of my life.

In July 2019, I left my metropolis residence and workplace job in Cape City to be a harvest cellar hand at Spherical Pond Property within the iconic Napa Valley for five months.

If you happen to aren’t that well-versed on the planet of wines—no worries! So long as you’re prepared to work arduous and be taught, working a wine harvest may simply be for you.

Sound like your form of journey? Seize a glass of wine and maintain studying…right here’s the newbie’s information to working a wine harvest!

Harvest  Occasions Across the World

Harvest on the planet of wine merely means the time of the 12 months when wine grapes are harvested/picked and dropped at the cellar to start out making wine.

With wineries scattered all through the world, the one actual figuring out issue by way of when harvest occurs is whether or not a vineyard sits within the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Wineries within the Southern Hemisphere can begin their wine harvest as early as December and often finish someday in April; wineries within the Northern Hemisphere often begin in August and finish round October.

Whereas these are basic instances for harvest, each vineyard is totally different in relation to their beginning and ending dates – these are decided by the varieties of wine they make, their specific type of winemaking, and the vine’s rising circumstances.

Climate performs an enormous function within the readiness of the grapes and might both velocity up or delay choosing instances.

Wine Harvest Lingo

Hemisphere Hopping: Many within the wine trade work wine harvests as a full-time job. As a result of harvest time alternates between hemispheres, harvest staff hop from one hemisphere to the opposite as they work at totally different wineries.


Methods to Get a Harvest Job at a Vineyard

Identical to another job, discovering a place at a vineyard for the harvest season can imply shopping by way of job websites, however an enormous game-changer is the Travelling Winemakers Fb Group.

A bunch created for the only real objective of individuals within the wine trade, yow will discover something from jobs all over the world to winemaking recommendation. You’ll see harvest jobs pop up on the group all year long so maintain your eyes peeled!

However what about {qualifications} and expertise?

Though many wineries search for candidates that both have earlier harvest expertise or have studied a level associated to winemaking, a number of locations choose somebody purely primarily based on curiosity and keenness.

If wine excites you and also you present the need to be taught then your probabilities of discovering one thing are fairly excessive. 

What You Have to Know Beforehand

A giant factor to consider earlier than working a harvest is investigating visa necessities. Coming from South Africa, working within the USA meant I needed to undergo a company like Worldwide Farmers Trade to help me in making use of for a J1 visa.

Most wineries within the USA, New Zealand, and Australia will help with visa processes however you’ll want to double-check beforehand.

Grape Sampling

Filling Metal Barrels with Wine

What to Count on

Actually, a life-changing expertise. It’s powerful to slim down precisely what to anticipate as a result of each vineyard operates otherwise. At some wineries you may work the evening shift for a month straight, at others, you may work each second day.

One widespread thread amongst all of them, nonetheless, is that its arduous work, you’ll obtain your badge of honor (wine-stained arms) and your drained physique will love each little bit of relaxation that it will get.

However other than the lengthy hours, you’ll be able to anticipate to make lifelong buddies, drink your justifiable share of beer (responsibly), be taught so much, do loads of blind wine tastings and take advantage of unbelievable recollections.

On the subject of compensation, housing, and meals, that is one other factor that varies vastly throughout the board.

In my case, I needed to discover and pay for my very own housing in Napa and type out all of my very own meals, however then I used to be paid a very good wage ($18 an hour and $27 an hour for extra time).

In different circumstances, you’re given free lodging, are fed, and obtain a wage. I beloved my scenario as I ended up shifting in with 2 unbelievable those that I now miss dearly and who I in any other case would by no means have met.

I believe what’s most vital is to be open to totally different conditions and to weigh up your choices however to at all times keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what, it’ll be an unreal expertise.

Aspect Notice

In most international locations, individuals which might be working harvest are in a position to go to different wineries within the space and do free wine tastings or get an trade low cost.

In your free days, use this to your benefit to develop your wine data and naturally, style superb wines.

Blundstone Boots Winery Napa Harvest What tot Pack

What  to Pack

It goes with out saying that no matter you put on to the vineyard, anticipate to get it soiled and/or stained so go away your favourite shirts at house.

Most wineries provides you with a few t-shirts with their very own branding together with just a few freebies from suppliers, however these are the necessities which you can’t stay with out…

  • A fantastic pair of waterproof, grippy boots like Blundstones
  • Chunky socks
  • A pocket book to scribble down a protracted checklist of directions
  • Pants or tights with pockets (you could must maintain a flashlight on you)
  • A heat jacket for days within the cellar
  • A bottle or 2 of wine from your house nation to get pleasure from together with your workforce

My Favourite Reminiscences

The entire expertise.

But when I had to consider one, it’s a fairly easy reminiscence. In right this moment’s day and age, it’s arduous to not get carried away with the tempo of issues and to not get caught up within the rat race; forgetting to decelerate and take on this magical world round us.

Whereas I’ve so many favourite recollections from my harvest, my mornings strolling by way of the vineyards with the solar slowly rising, the contemporary air in my lungs, and the leaves crunching beneath my boots typically involves thoughts.

It’s troublesome to place into phrases however it was a time of actually simply taking in my environment, respiratory, and feeling like I didn’t have a fear on the planet, that I’d discovered one thing that basically made me really feel alive. One thing that I believe many others really feel after they work a wine harvest.

Round Pond Harvest Team 2019

Closing Ideas

For anybody that loves wine and is wanting to essentially immerse themselves on the planet of wine, working a harvest needs to be on the highest of your checklist.

You’ll come out of it with a lot data, a new-found appreciation for the artwork of winemaking, and can little question be prepared for the subsequent one.

And should you’re ever in search of extra recommendation or solutions, I’m solely a message away on Instagram.

In vino veritas – In wine lies the reality

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