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Vintage Down Under with d'Arenberg

Earlier this year we bid farewell to our e-commerce superstar Olivia, as she set sail for the land Down Under and a once-in-a-lifetime vintage experience with d'Arenberg in McLaren Vale. Before harvest kicks-off, and her hands are well and truly dirty, we checked in with Liv to find out more about her exciting adventure.


What made you want to apply for vintage work experience?

After a couple of years working in the wine industry back in the UK – and coming from a non-wine background initially – I thought it was about time I took a not-so-small trip to get an understanding of what a real vintage is all about, and what exactly happens Friday at 5 glass of wine gets poured!


What made you choose d’Arenberg?

I’m a sucker for label design, and easily won over by a bit of sunshine!

What are the top three things you’re hoping to get out of the experience?

  • Winemaking: I want to learn more about the winemaking process, and gain a better understanding of the time, effort and processes that go into a bottle (aka blood, sweat and tears?)
  • Tasting: Develop confidence in tasting; whether I learn this at work or not, SA has got to be a good place to start my wine education. McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and Clare all in driving distance of one another – sounds like a pretty good way to spend a day off!
  • Knowledge: Better knowledge of varietals; what affects them in terms of viticulture and climate, and how this is reflected in the flavour profile and characteristics when I drink a glass of wine.

I’m also looking forward to being part of a vintage team in general. I’ve been warned how much hard work it can be, but I’ve never met a person who hasn’t recommended doing it, so that has to be a good sign!

liv What have you been up to so far?

Tastings, watermelon catapults, kangaroo spying, confined space training, winery tours…so far so good!

This is just the start of Olivia's vintage journey, and we're sure we'll be hearing more from her as the days roll on. You can follow Olivia’s travels on Instagram @darenbergwine or at @100daysaway. After McLaren Vale, she'll be setting off for New Zealand to lend a hand in the vineyard at Carrick Wines in Central Otago.