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Working at the Vineyard

Thursday, 14 December 2006 : Filed under: Waiheke E-Mail This Article

Waiheke Vineyard
A veiw of the sea over Cable Bay vineyard on Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

11 Comments »

Comment by josh — December 14, 2006 @ 1:41 am

Here is a picture taken by Beth on the island. There will be more, but the photo gallery isn’t cooperating.

Comment by beth — December 14, 2006 @ 1:59 am

This is where I am currently working at Waiheke. However there are over 30 vineyards on the island and we are always going to work at different ones. Right now the grapes are merely pea-sized, so we are plucking the leaves from around the grapes to give them some room to breathe and ripen in the sun. The grapes mostly grow only on the lower main branches of the vine, so we only pluck leaves up to the first or second wire. We have been working on Chardonney grapes, which apparently mature the earliest and need the most attention right now. The days are long in the warm summer sunshine, but it is a good way to get fit and get a tan. Except that I have a farmers tan. The weather on Waiheke is almost always nicer than in Auckland, only perhaps 30 kilometers away. Everyday I take the ferry across to the island, and the weather starts out cloudy but usually clears by the time I get to Waiheke. So now I am just a regular dirty worker on the ferry to and from Waiheke amongst the polished and perfumed tourists!

Comment by jeff — December 14, 2006 @ 9:23 am

Nice pic, Beth! I hope you’re wearing a hat so your farmers’ tan has a nice line across the middle of your forehead!! ;^) I’m not sure how much of a pain the work is, but the picture makes it look like a pretty nice place to spend the day. Sounds pretty labor intensive – stuff you can only really do by hand. Do the days seem pretty long? Do you pack a lunch? Get regular breaks? Work with New Zealanders or other foreigners? Sounds like you’re learning some about grapes and wine.

Comment by josh — December 14, 2006 @ 10:11 pm

Beth is on the island now and I am about to take the Ferry over. We are going to spend the weekend on Waiheke with Andy as well. We will have more pictures in a few days.

Comment by Peg Moore — December 15, 2006 @ 9:42 am

You photo is beautiful, Beth! And I love your descriptiveness. And your last line was great–about being a “regular dirty worker . . . among the polished and perfumed tourists.” Maybe you have a future as a writer, too! And it’s neat that you’re a local there, now (sort of) instead of just a tourist. Very cool. By the way, are you doing much journaling there? Did the one from Borders work out OK? Hope you all have a great time over the weekend. Nice for both you and Josh that he could be there with you on the island. Love you!

Comment by Josh — December 16, 2006 @ 1:52 am

Hello from Waiheke. It is beautiful here and the weather seems much better than Auckland. We went on a 6 hour trek today along the coastal walk. More later. The computer here is really hurting.

Comment by Clara — December 16, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

Beth, what a lovely photo. Thanks for having it posted and for writing about your experience in the vineyard. I see Waiheke Island in the atlas and imagine you have a decent ferry ride each way every day. Peggy asked if you journal while you’re ferrying. Do you read on the ferry? Does someone take you to the ferry each morning and pick you up at night? Or is the ferry terminal in Auckland close enough that you can walk?

Your experience in the vinyard must be enjoyable–physical, yes, but enjoyable because it’s so different from what you’re used to doing. Plus, you’re with different people and are acquiring a different perspective.

I hope the three of you enjoy your weekend on the island.

Comment by Robin — December 18, 2006 @ 11:55 pm

i love your journal entry, bethany. i’m happy someone is living a fairy tale life!

Comment by josh — December 19, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

Hey everyone. We had a great weekend at Waiheke, but we’ve both been really busy ever since. We will get some more photos up and answer your questions in the next couple of days, then it will be Christmas break!

Comment by beth — December 20, 2006 @ 2:57 am

Hi everyone!

Thanks for all your comments and questions. I just got off work, so I’ll try to answer a few before I hit the hay (as the farm workers would say..hehe)! So the work is pretty intense, but our supervisor Bruce is pretty cool, and it’s definitely not stressful! My hands kind of hurt, and my back, and my feet.. and I got some sort of weird bug bite.. but its ok. It’s really nice to be outside. Sometimes the days are long, but today went by pretty fast- I usually listen to my ipod all day and that makes time go by quick.

We get a regular 15 min break in the morning (Bruce likes to make it 30 and I’m not one to complain), half an hour for lunch, and 15 in the afternoon. Sometimes we leave early if we get finished sooner, or if it rains hard. MOst of the people that I work with are travellers (including German friends Andy and Karl), but there are a couple of kiwis as well.

The ferry is ok too.. it is only a ten min walk from the apartment. The ride is usually relaxing, although because the island is known for all its wineries there are usually quite a few drunk people on the afternoon ferry. I’m still trying to write some in my journal (I did take it on the ferry with me a few times). I really like the one I purchased at Borders because of the magnetic closure.

OK well more on Waiheke later.. it’s getting late- almost 9 pm!

Comment by Sheryl — January 4, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

Grandpa Charlie would be proud!!!

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