Harvest

Welcome to the harvest page for employment.

Some information about grape picking for the benefit of people who may not have done this type of job before.

We’ve tried to explain as much as we can about the grape picking season in all the notes on this page.  A quick note for all team members:

  1. ALL of the vineyards are a minimum hourly pay ($25.79).
  2. Some offer extra incentives
  3. Some of them do like piece rate, however – PIECE RATE IS SUBISDISED BY HOURLY PAY – YOU WILL NOT EARN LESS THAN $25.79 PER HOUR.

We are quite famous in the region for looking after our staff and making sure they earn good money. It is NEVER going to be in our interest to employ staff and have them earn less than hourly pay.

We are striving to be an approved employer from the Australian Government and as such, our pay records will be audited, so we are not going to be putting ourselves at risk of putting our certification at risk.

In summary are some points below for prospective team members who may not have been exposed to vineyards before:

Quick notes for Harvest season (picking grapes)

The following applies to the 2022 grape picking season that starts in the middle of February and finishes in April.

We pride ourselves on running a happy, motivated team and we are pleased to announce we will be offering the following incentives to sign up and work for us during the 2021 grape picking season:

  • We are offering hourly pay ($25.79/hour as per the Wine Industry Award) to each team member (we do offer piece rate in some vineyards, but these are also supported by hourly rate for team members who might not make hourly pay.
  • We are also finalising details of extra special incentives which we will be able to tell you about when you start working with us – but believe us when we say they will be AWESOME!
  • Refill tanks for water bottles are at each end of the picking rows.
  • There will be refreshments offered during the morning break – such as biscuits, fruits, cakes and juices.
  • After work, we love to wind down and give our beautiful team a nice cold beer/soft drink or juice.
  • We are also negotiating for our lovely team to receive a nice bottle of wine weekly as well – a suitable reward to enjoy the weekends!
  • You can expect to work a MINIMUM of 04 hours starting on sunrise – we like our staff to earn good money, so we TRY to aim for about 06 hours of work per day.
  • We also try to pick 05 days a week (Monday to Friday) but this depends on the weather being suitable for picking (no picking in heavy rain) and the grapes must be ready for our loving hands to cut them off!
  • Harvest season can be anywhere from late January to middle to late April. It is totally dependent on the weather (Nice warm to hot days and nights with not too much rainfall). Each year, the starting time is different as no two years have the same summers.
  • Some past start dates are :
    • In 2019, we started on February 23rd
    • In 2020 we started on January 28th
    • In 2021, we started on February 05th
      So you can see that it's very difficult to predict an exact date start each year.
  • Each variety of grape is picked only when it is ready. The sugar levels must rise to an amount that is satisfactory to convert to alcohol. This is totally weather dependant and if the sugars are not ready, then the grapes will not be picked until they are ready.
  • The vines react to extreme weather: on a very hot day the vines shut down and concentrate on preserving leaves and grapes and will stop maturing grapes. The same goes with colder overnight temperatures.
  • Mostly, grapes are picked in this order: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Chenin Blanc. After this, then all remaining red varieties are picked last as they take the longest to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and so on.
  • We start picking grapes the moment the is enough morning sunlight!
  • If it is raining, then no one in Margaret River will pick grapes as the rainwater washes out the sugars in the grapes.
  • We pick grapes usually Monday to Friday and try to give approximately 4.00 -6.00 hours of picking – after 6.00 hours, most pickers are too tired to continue as it is very physically tiring.
  • If the temperature EXCEEDS 37.00 Degrees Celsius, then ALL WORK STOPS FOR THE DAY. NO EXCEPTIONS (IT’S TOO DANGEROUS).

Essential Reading

The information displayed below is ESSENTIAL READING prior to commencing employment with Margaret River Viticultural Services.  Please click on the title or the icon accompanying each item to read the information.

You are welcome to print off any of the pages in the essential reading area for your own copy or revisit the page to refresh your memory if needed at any time.

JSA Harvest

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) for Harvest Season.  This document identifies the potential hazards, risk level and control measures for work activities relating to Harvest (grape picking)

JSA Hot Weather Events

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) Supplementary to Harvest JSA - Hot Weather Events During Harvest.

Safety at Work Agreement

Safety at Work in Harvest Season.

Assessment before starting work

Before starting ANY task on the vineyard, you MUST firstly assess the task for any risks, read this document for more information.

COVID-19

Safety at work policy during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Employment Information

Generic employment information

Work Issued Safety Vest

Letter of Agreement for care and return of your work issued Safety Vest

Agreement for Gloves & Snips

Letter of agreement for pay deduction to cover the provision of grape picking gloves and harvest snips. Please read before applying for employment.

Before Starting Work - Harvest

Checklist before starting work for Harvest season in the vineyards.

Application for Employment

Clicking on the button below will take you to our Employment page.  This will advise the necessary passport information we require, and will contain a digital form for you to complete.

 

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