Cellarhand site connects flying winemakers

A new website is aiming to provide a forum connecting wineries with those looking to work a vintage.

Set up six months ago, TheCellarhand.com was created by George Read, based on his own experience working four consecutive vintages in various countries around the world.

Despite his praise for the experience of seeing the diversity of winemaking approaches in different parts of the world, Read intended the website to tackle a number of frustrations.

“It took me weeks and hundreds of e mails to get one or two job offers in South America and then not even know much about the winery,” he recalled.

As a result, Cellarhand.com is a free service allowing users to review their experiences, share travel tips and connect with wineries offering work

Read highlights particularly useful factors for potential cellarhands to consider, including “the size in tonnes – the bigger the winery the less job variety you have normally – the philosophy and methods of the winemaker, accommodation, hours, pay, location.

Since its launch six months ago, the site has built a network of around 200 users with a wider following on Facebook. Registered users come from countries as far afield as Chile, Argentina, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and the UK.

Read’s aim now is to expand the site’s reach, including the gallery section “to help shine a little spotlight on the people that work those long days and weeks for months on end to make that wine for the people out there.”

He reports: “I’ve heard personally that the site has already helped people find jobs through the winery reviews, which means it’s working.”

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