Internet Calls Out Vineyard Seeking Grape Picking Volunteers: ‘Pay People’

Online commenters have slammed an English vineyard that is looking for volunteers to help with the upcoming harvest season.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, the vineyard, Hencote, said it was looking for people willing to help pick the grapes that’ll be used to make its “award-winning wines.” A screenshot of the post was shared in Reddit’s “Antiwork” forum by someone under the username u/Goddessmushu, who wrote: “Local business asking for volunteers instead of actually hiring someone.”

The Reddit post has garnered over 8,900 upvotes and hundreds of comments admonishing Hencote for “soliciting free labor.”

Working at Wine Harvest

According to Wine Enthusiast Magazineworking a wine harvest is a “physically demanding and intense” experience.

The days are long and hot, and winemaking, in general, requires the “tenacity to handle Mother Nature” and a “devotion to cleanliness.”

Online commenters have slammed an English vineyard that is looking for volunteers to help with the upcoming harvest season.
mythja/istock

In an article for Liquor.com, California-based food writer Mark C. Anderson detailed his experience working a wine harvest at an Oregon-based winery called Left Coast Estate, which seemed to result in several injuries. Here’s what he had to say:

“To me, the hustle of the harvest sounded like a feature, not a flaw. A few days in, my body begged to differ. My fingers didn’t close like they used to. My thighs were going purple polka dot after I learned from the field team how to hike a 100-pound ‘macro’ bin from my thighs to the waiting tractor-trailer.”

Anderson also said he started bleeding after “smashing [his] hand” into the “hard steel of [a] wine press.”

Hencote

In its Facebook post, Hencote acknowledged that working a wine harvest is “not easy.”

“We are on the lookout for volunteers to help in our vineyard, picking grapes during our harvest season,” Hencote’s post began.

“Grape picking is a rewarding way to spend the day. No, it’s not easy work, but it comes with lots of fresh air and enormous amounts of satisfaction,” the post continued. “Not only this, but you will meet others and learn about how Hencote makes its award-winning wines.”

Based on the information presented in the post, Hencote is not offering monetary compensation; however, the vineyard is offering two free meals and refreshments.

“Confirmed dates for harvest are yet to be decided, as it’s all down to science and weather, but please get in touch with the reception team to express your interest,” Hencote concluded.

Newsweek has reached out to Hencote for comment.

Redditors React

Redditors bashed Hencote, saying the vineyard was wrong to “solicit free labor.”

“I don’t find it ethical for for-profit companies [to solicit] free labor,” u/dsdvbgutres said.

“Eight percent inflation, gas prices high as hell, and food cost more than a monthly car payment and these folks want people to play pretend and do free labor,” u/NewYork_607 wrote.

u/dead_dead_deadski added: “Just f**king pay people.”

More Viral Posts

In June, a Michigan-based insurance company received backlash for the “racist” Juneteenth sign it tapped to one of its windows. That same month, a Louisiana-based snowball stand went viral for advertising a controversial flavor offering called “Blood of Jesus.”

Also in June, a Toronto-based restaurant divided online opinion after announcing its new “tip-free model.”

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