[8 April/The Country]

Te Mata Estate employs more than 70 pickers with an average age of 70 years old. People from early retirement age to well into their 80’s hand pick the winery’s grapes. Te Mata Estate Founder, John Buck, said they were people who epitomise Hawke’s Bay quality and they were an essential feature of its premium export quality. All fruit is harvested by hand which Mr Buck thought was essential at the top end of the wine market internationally. He emphasised that they were fantastic people and that he was in awe of them. Retired local, Eddie Wilson, said there was a lot of laughter and fun and that they enjoyed each other’s company. He added they had a joke that they should be paying John because of how fun it was.