Volunteering: join the team at Hanwell Wine Estate

Throughout the year the vines require lots of tender loving care, up to 10 times a year we will tend them individually by hand.  Our volunteers play an enormous role in ensuring we give the vines the attention they need to nurture the highest quality grapes for Nottinghamshire wine.

We love nature and pledge to enhance the natural value of the estate through our vineyard activity.  We tend the vines by hand to maintain a balance with nature, in this way our volunteers are contributing to the vineyard’s environmental sustainability.

Sharing our passion and our journey with others is richly rewarding.  For us, wine is about the people and the place that made it, and our volunteers are what make our wines so special.

Here are some examples of the roles our volunteers undertake:

“Pulling out” this is removing the already pruned wood from the wires, it involves cutting up the vine canes with secateurs and untangling the wood before putting in a pile.

Vine planting: there are some gaps in the vineyard that need backfilling.  The holes are dug with a narrow spade in April when the ground is still easy to dig.  In May into each hole goes a vine dipped in Mycorrhizal fungi with a cane and back-filled with soil then watered.

“Bud rubbing” is removing the shoots that are growing below the vine head.  May and June.

“Tucking in” is winding the new shoots up in between the wires on the trellis.  June, July and August

Grape harvest, is a big event, taking up to 7 days during October. For more information about getting involved in harvest only click here.  https://www.hanwellwine.co.uk/grape-harvest-hanwell-wine-estate-nottinghamshire/

What to expect

  1. On arrival, you will be greeted by a member of the team, usually Helenka the Vineyard Owner or Mandy the Vineyard Manager. 
  2. You will be briefed on the day’s activities and shown around the facilities.
  3. We will demonstrate how to do the job, how to use any kit involved and briefed on health and safety procedures.  All from a suitable social distance.
  4. We will work in the vineyard with you; however this is not always nearby due to the size of the field and the tasks required.

Working outdoors

The vineyard is quite exposed so winds can be surprisingly cold.  The grass is long in places and may remain wet all day depending on the time of year.  In the Summer the rows of vines protect from the wind, but not the sunshine so it can be very hot.  We don’t work when it’s raining heavily.

What to wear

  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Layers
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Work gloves
  • Waterproof boots or shoes
  • Sunglasses, some jobs need eye protection, we do have some goggles.

We provide

  • All specific vine care equipment
  • Secateurs (sterilised for the vines sake!)
  • Work gloves if you want to use ours
  • Personal protective equipment as required for the task

Facilities onsite

The Tasting Lodge has toilet facilities, handwashing, disinfectant spray and plastic gloves.  You can bring lunch and eat in the lodge or outside on the terrace if you prefer.  The Lodge also has tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and microwave.  There is plenty of free parking.

Time commitments

So that it’s worthwhile training up volunteers we’d like you to do at least 4 hours and are happy for you to stay as long and return as often as you like, just let us know in advance so we can prepare the kit.  We don’t work in the dark.  Monday – Friday 10-13:00 there is usually someone working in the vineyard, so they can be there to support you.

If you’d like to join the volunteering team please email info@hanwellwine.co.uk

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