New Zealand – Blenheim (~working on the vineyards~)

I reached Blenheim during my second month in New Zealand in August 2013 to look for a job in the vineyards as part of my working holiday. Blenheim was in the Marlborough region and the Marlborough region is famous for its vineyards and wine.

I was first in Tauranga during my first month in New Zealand, I tried working at a factory for a day and was soon fired within just 6 hours of working as the supervisor find me too slow. So I took a trip to Hawkes Bay to find vineyard work with 2 friends that I made at the Pacific Coast Lodge backpackers and we took a really cool road trip there, stopping along the way to enjoy nice sceneries and for food.

When I was at Hawke’s Bay, we waited for 3 days before we could start work because it was raining a lot and we can’t work in the rain on the vineyards. However, I only worked 2 weeks in Hawke’s Bay before I was fired again for being too slow. I guess I was enjoying the scenery too much to be really able to concentrate working.

So I rested at the homestay for a few more days while making plans to find a job on the vineyards and decided to go to Blenheim after hearing much about it. I took the bus all the way from Hawke’s bay to Wellington, where I took a ferry to Picton and then took a bus from Picton to Blenheim. I was really anxious about finding a job and managed to get recommendations from the hostel owner and called up a few companies. I got a reply from one of the companies and started work with them the next day… here’re some photos of the first vineyards I have been working on…

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After the first month, I went to another vineyard to work… there’re more vineyards here, and I experience more scenery and sheeps and friends and fun while working with the second company, here’re some photos of my second month there…

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Working on the vineyard is simple, relaxing and fun… It was the winter and after the vines have shed all their leaves, we have to prune and wrap the vines. Pruning requires some technique and I end up spending lots of time trying to decide which is the best vines to keep. After all the leaves have shed, there are a lot of vines left on the tree. So we have to choose 4 good vines to keep and they should be from the branches and as far away from the main trunk as possible. After we have chosen the 4 vines to keep, we use a shear and prune the rest of the vines, then we pluck all the extra vines and throw them onto the grass, leaving behind the 4 chosen vines to be used to grow new shoots in the spring…

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The 4 vines now remains on the tree, and we wrap each of the 4 vines around the wires so that they will grow many more new vines from the buds and bear many more new big juicy bunches of grapes…

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I was really proud of my work because each of the 4 vines look very neatly wrap around the wires and I find myself standing there staring at the vines and picturing them growing many new young shoots from these buds in a few months time…

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So I spent 2 months on the vineyards in Blenheim and it was really enjoyable working there. I worked alongside many other fellow backpackers and we brought lunch in the form of sandwiches and drank plain water. Sometimes there were many sheeps passing through the vineyards and some were nosy and like to look at me work. The scenery from the vineyards was really nice and there were mountains and rivers…

When I was working in Blenheim, I was staying at this warm hostel where there happen to be any friendly travellers too… The morning is always a mad rush in the kitchen and living room and it was very vibrant. The travellers were all making lots of noises as they get ready and prepare their breakfast and also make lunch to bring to their vineyards… This is some photos of my warm hostel

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(if you find my article useful and would like to contribute towards my article writing, please do contribute any amount via paypal to travelbackpackingblog@gmail.com)

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