Drinking Shiraz And Eating Crocodile: Two Weeks Working The Harvest Down Under

Two Hands

Last month I won a Majestic trip to Australia! Don’t be too jealous though – there was lots of work involved…

…two weeks working the Aussie wine harvest 2014 at the Two Hands winery in the Barossa Valley.

Four Majestic staff won a creative writing competition to book our seats on the plane – I chose to go down the poem route and was lucky enough to have been picked a winner by the Two Hands team – thanks guys!

Here’s my poem below. Scroll down to see a photo round up of the work I did during harvest, plus a little snippet of the fun bits in my spare time…

Just small lyrics to reveal my passion,
For a winery that has made full bodied, fruity wine a fashion,
This is why I want to work for two hands in OZ,
A new and exciting challenge, because…

The world has so many vineyards but so few have the x-factor,
An amazing opportunity to know Elizabeth Maragh drove that tractor,
The Garden Series – an Aussie shiraz adventure,
Part of vintage twenty fourteen – an unforgettable experience to survive even dementia.

Twenty-four months on the diploma,
Jancis says reading cannot beat the two hands aroma,
What better way to develop my career,
Quality without compromise, to this the dudes adhere!

A vision to be the world’s greatest winery,
Samantha, Lilly and Bella – veraison in all it’s finery,
Sitting proud on St. John’s Wood-en stack, I’ve Recommended since 2010 and customers come back!
A unique winery, full of ‘innovation and fun’,

With Twelftree and Mintz – 1999 it all begun,
A once in a lifetime experience,
Graft: pick, press, ferment – let the harvest commence!

This is the Two Hands Cellar Door, where you can taste all their fab wines on the deck – I had my wine with some warm ciabatta bread and Two Hands’ God’s Country olive oil – delish!


Fully ripe Shiraz grapes waiting to be hand picked.


The head wine maker Ben personally visits all the vineyards, taking samples of the grapes to make a decision on when is the right time to pick. Each vineyard must pass the taste test.


An old vine – gnarly!


In the winery…the grapes start to arrive (that’s me driving!) with everything picked into small one ton bins to ensure the grapes arrive in good condition.



After being crushed and de-stemmed the wines are put into large stainless steel fermenters – now it’s time to dig out and press.



Purple stained hands – it’s vintage time.



After all the grapes are pressed, the juice is put in a fermentation tank to turn into wine!


I didn’t get to see the final fermented wine that I made bottled up, but did see some others go into bottles to be stored and shipped all over the world!

Now for a little bit of spare time out of the winery! I went on a visit to cellar doors in the Barossa… here’s me at the kangaroo feeding time at Whistler wines.


I also spent the weekend on an adventure tour of Kangaroo Island – breakfast with the Koalas, lunch at the emu distillery, sand boarding at little Sahara, seal spotting and Kayaking at Vivonne Bay Lodge.


No visit to the Barossa is complete without sampling the local delights at the Barossa Farmers market. It’s a must to have a breakfast burger and homemade icecream.


Just before my 23-hour flight home, there was time to take in the sites of Adelaide, watch Australian football at the new Adelaide Oval, admire the botanical gardens and visit Haigh’s chocolate factory! I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy some chocolates to enjoy on Glenelg beach…it was difficult but I managed to save some for my colleagues in the office.



There was one last thing to do before I left Australia and that was sample the local cuisine. Phil from Two Hands and I worked our way through a grilled tasting platter of crocodile (snappy!), emu, quail and venison, all washed down with a glass of Samantha’s Garden.


There is just one word to describe my adventure Gnarly!

Read more Majestic travel stories in the Travel section of our blog!

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