We started off shoot thinning for a week on the vineyard. Since then we have done a variety of jobs on the vineyard such as planting, digging (well Jeff dug, San tried 3 holes but had to give up), wire lifting and tying up old vines that had fallen over. The weather is getting much more summer like reaching 28 degrees which wasn't so fun on one day when we had to plant 1000 plants, seven men we digging while the women were planting. Due to very stoney soil it was especially difficult but we ended the day with a beer in the local pub with the whole team which made up for it
We went to explore Cromwell town having a great sunny breakfast outside and finding summer work clothes in the Salvation Army. It's so good to feel the sun every day after our year of winter. We went to a farmers market in Old Cromwell and ended up spending a little more than we thought, we bought some Pioneer pear sauce, fresh local olive oil and sundried tomato and olive bread. We met some of our French friends for a coffee overlooking the lake.
On Fridays we go to the local pub here and our manager very generously buys a few jugs of cold beer and a few portions of chips. It's a great atmosphere there as all the local vineyard workers and everybody smells the same (mainly of sulphur which is still bothering San, so she hand washes our work clothes every weekend).
On the really hot days we have been heading down to the lake after work for a very refreshing (freezing cold) swim and have slowly been gathering more and more people each time we go, all pretty brave to jump head first into the cold water but it feels good after a hard day in the sun. Working on the vines is a good job but when the temperature hits 30 degrees and you haven't got any shade things start getting much harder.
There are some great fruit and veg stalls on the side of the road and a lot of vineyards with cellar doors for tastings, we will have to organise a trip for a weekend quite soon and see what the finished product actually tastes like.
We're enjoying our time in Cromwell, we've met a lot of really nice people and it's been nice to stay still for a few weeks, even when we were in Alex we kept swapping houses so didn't stay any one place too long. We have definitely got work until Christmas here so we'll see what happens after that.