A year in the vines – part 1


Earlier this year, I compared working in a McLaren Vale winery to trench warfare: relentless, gruelling physical toil. Having survived that, I find myself six months later bent double in a field, shuffling beside a row of vines, caked in clay and sweating freely. The posture – head down by your knees, legs straight, arms stretched wide and low – feels distinctly reminiscent of the stress positions used on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

I’m in a vineyard in Kent, southern England [see those hard green grapes; veraison seems a long way off this far from the equator – JR], and...