Share your kiwi working experience or even just your holiday tips tricks and what ever you want to say about your time in New Zealand....these stories really benefit the users our this site and as a bonus SeasonalJobs.co.nz will pay for it if it gets published!
So what are you waiting for?!
Vintage in Central Otago - Working in the Wine Industry
I arrived in New Zealand ready to travel but knowing I would need to find a job within a couple months so I decided to wait and see what opportunities presented themselves during my journey. As I visited every wine region I could, I kept an eye out for jobs in the wine industry, preferably in a tasting room. Initially I didnít want to work as a cellar hand after an unfortunately miserable experience in Australia, but kept a few contacts from my sister in law (who sells wine in the US) just in case I changed my mind. I was also WWOOFing and purposefully chose hosts that were in wine regions or involved in winemaking, giving me great insight on the local wine industry and the growing areas. After traveling through the North Island, I arrived in Marlborough at the end of February, out of money and knowing that it was very unlikely that I would find a job in a tasting room as I hoped, so I started asking around at the wineries in the area to see if anyone was still looking for vintage help; picking grapes was a last resort. It seemed that I was a few weeks too late for Marlborough since vintage had already begun, so I emailed all the wineries with job vacancies listed online as well as the contacts from my sister in law. Miraculously within an hour, I had a phone call from a contract winery in Cental Otago who wanted to hire me to start in two weeks time. I was thrilled! Vintage in Central Otago was an awesome experience, I learned so much and was worked with some amazing people. I later realized that I was just at the right place at the right time because the winery had received many CVís previously but only later realized that they needed more help just as I sent them my CV. The fact that I was in the country, had experience in the wine industry and needed a job immediately worked to my advantage. This obviously emphasizes the value of good contacts when traveling and the need to be flexible. Those looking for a job in the industry may have more luck in Hawks Bay since it seemed that wineries were still looking for vintage help in mid February (I wanted to continue traveling at the time though). It is also important to note that most wineries are quite small and only hire on an extra person or two during vintage except the larger contract wineries or bulk facilities (mostly in Marlborough); this also means that tasting room jobs are pretty much permanent positions held by family members or friends. My advice those looking for vintage work is try to find a contact to get your foot in the door at a winery, email as many wineries as possible and ask for suggestions about where else to apply, look at bigger facilities who hire more people and if nothing else, just go and hope for the best. If nothing else you will be able to find a job picking grapes easily by applying at agencies in whichever location you choose if you are there at the right time. I was lucky but I also came as a traveler with no set plans rather than a winemaker looking for a specific position and location, which was to my advantage in the end. Experiencing the wine industry in New Zealand has been amazing, I couldnít be more thankful for an incredible opportunity to increase my knowledge of wine while allowing me to be part of the kiwi culture. Cheers!
Submitted by: Amanda Haehl Date submitted: 8/05/2011 8:46:18 p.m.