Owning and operating a vineyard is farming with a rather glamorous end product, it’s easy to forget what your imbibing has had hundreds of man hours poured into it first. Vineyard work is physical, repetitive and often means being exposed to all sorts of weather extremities. At Bellbird Spring we are a small family team and there is no limit to what we may turn our hand to but we can’t keep on top everything alone. To keep the vineyard in shape we employ the services of Hortus and their RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employees) workers.
The RSE scheme was fist initiated in Central Otago in 2006 as an opportunity to initiate revolving aid between NZ and the Pacific Islands. The first enrolment saw 50 men & women from Vanuatu brought to NZ for seasonal work. Now, around 9,000 Pacific Island RSE workers may be working within NZ at the height of seasonal orchard and vineyard work.
To help finish off the pruning this month Jason from Hortus came to Bellbird Spring with 9 guys from Vanuatu. For some of them this will be their 7th seasonal stint in NZ and with the income they are able to build homes, pay for school fees and help their villages. As an organic and sustainable vineyard, this employment embodies true economic sustainability and we look forward to having the Hortus crew at Bellbird Spring. We can’t grow wine alone and these small Pacific communities cannot thrive without reciprocal support from NZ.