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14/03/2017

WA winery prioritises employee education

Education is a crucial element of success in the winemaking industry, which is why Howard Park Wines is committed to supporting their staff in furthering their knowledge in the wine industry. At its core, their team is comprised of enthusiastic men and women who are encouraged to learn and develop as a way to further their careers within the company.

Vineyard Supervisor Tristan is a perfect example of how this initiative pays off for both the employee and Howard Park Wines themselves. Currently studying a Bachelor of Viticulture part time at Charles Sturt University while still working full time on the vineyard, he has advanced his knowledge with classes in areas such as plant biology, pathology and metabolism. Since beginning his studies, Tristan says he has found ample opportunity to implement these newfound viticultural skills in his day to day work on the vineyard.

“For me personally, it arms me with a lot of theory behind what we do,” he says. “You can go out and do these jobs in the vineyard and once you build up this knowledge behind it, everything kind of falls into place. It helps me practically, day to day.”

Along with furthering his knowledge on viticultural and winemaking techniques, Tristan’s studies have also touched on microbiology, giving him the knowledge needed to contribute to the composting methods used on Howard Park’s Margaret River and Great Southern vineyards. In doing so, he has played an important role in facilitating the sustainable growth of healthy soils for premium fruit.

Assistant Winemaker, Poppie, has also benefitted from Howard Park’s enthusiasm towards quality education, travelling to Germany to take part in Riesling vintage season at notable Staffelter Hof Winery. Here she was able to witness first hand the production of Riesling from its origin, a particularly valuable experience due to the fact that Howard Park Riesling has been one of their flagship wines since 1986.

While this continual development requires hard work and commitment from the employees, the benefits of doing so are evident in Senior Winemaker Mark Bailey. Mark started out at Howard Park Wines as a cellar hand early in his career before studying winemaking at Charles Sturt University with the assistance of Howard Park. Over the past 10 years, he has made invaluable contributions to the development of Howard Park’s winemaking operations, proving just how significant this opportunity can be to one’s career progression.

Howard Park’s commitment to employees in furthering their skills and knowledge empowers everyone with confidence and in turn is a win win for all.

“Burch Family Wines are getting a more skilled employee,” says Tristan.

“The more I learn about the technical side of things, the more I can contribute [on the vineyard].”

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WID 2017