Vintage employment for cellar hands – winery grunts or oenologists in waiting?

Winemaker and writer Paul Le Lacheur outlines the issues and responsibilities of hiring vintage cellar hands.

Throughout the year, exclusive of vintage, cellar hands are primarily engaged on a permanent basis and only a very small proportion, on average less than 5%, are casual employees. HENRIK WALLGREN


When I started my first vintage as a cellar hand at Saltrams in the Barossa Valley in 1984, the winemakers asked me an obvious question. “Why should we employ you Paul, there are dozens of good applicants?” said senior winemaker Steve Hoff. “Well, if...

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