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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Rawson


Updated: Mar 14, 2021

The owners of Tironui Estate, Richard and Jennifer (where we house/dog sat) were desperate for pickers to bring in the grapes and sent out an SOS to friends to come and help. While we were living in France, we never got the opportunity to do this and it was an experience I wanted to have.

It was chilly and overcast at 8.a.m. when about 20 of us gathered for a Health & Safety and educational briefing from Richard and his foreman, Grant. Armed with sécateurs and snippers, we marched to the first set of vines and got started, gradually making our way down the side of the hill.

Jennifer kept us fed and watered all day with delicious food and hot drinks. As we worked on the last of the vines around the house, Richard set up his speakers outdoor and we enjoyed some great music and some of us sang along. By 3.30pm we were done - all of us stood, rubbing our backs and groaning. Our shoulders were aching too! It was hard to stand up straight for a few minutes.

Walking back down to the house for a very welcome glass (or two) of Tironui Rose it was both ironic and funny that the Elton John song “I’m Still Standing ...” came on.

My left hand is still stained purple this morning, and sporting three little cuts from the snippers I was using - even though we had been warned to be extremely careful. The wine will be ‘in the bottle’ by October and I’ll be queuing up to buy some to check the results of our hard labour.

One day’s respite and we go fig picking on Monday.... must be mad.

Us 'working' in the vines

Richard, the boss, and all the gang

Richard and Steve and some of the others

We brought in about four tonne of grapes.

We picked all down the slope in front of the house and on the left and right it.

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Mar 14, 2021

A wonderful experience AnneMarie and I can understand you looking forward to tasting the fruits of your labour! But......would you do it again now you’ve had the experience you wanted? It will be interesting to hear how the grape picking compares with the fig picking! 😄😄

Annemarie Rawson
Annemarie Rawson
Mar 14, 2021
Replying to

Yes, I’d do it again - for a day. Wouldn’t do it for days on end. It’s too hard on an old body! Fig picking has been delayed for today. Will find out later when it’s next on. Hope your knee op recovery going well. Xx

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