Vineyards benefit from WWOOF program

Name: Sam, Florence & Richard Statham

Rosnay Wines' co-director and viticulturist, Sam Statham, first learnt of biodynamic and organic farming while he was backpacking in New Zealand where he met a man who introduced him to a biodynamic vineyard and the WWOOF program and its basic philosophy. Returning to Australia, Statham spoke with his parents, Richard and Florence, about biodynamics and organics who agreed to manage their vineyard based on these principles. As a result, it gave the Statham's the opportunity to be part of the WWOOF program three years later.

Over the eight years since Rosnay - which also runs and owns an olive grove - has been part of the program it has received 25 'WWOOFers' from Denmark, France, Germany, England, Korea, Japan and Australia who come to learn about organic growing and the local environment.

'This is a fantastic way for visitors to travel and learn about organic farming and Australia, and it is a great way for farms to get help around the property,' Sam Statham said.

'For some people running a business it is hard to get away and travel overseas: the WWOOF program also allows the host farms to learn about other countries and cultures.'

The WWOOFers, who stay from one week and up to three months, live with Sam and his wife in their straw bale house, and dine regularly with Richard and Florence who have a house on the same property.

'It is ideal to have two households on one property and to share the WWOOFers with neighbours as this also broadens the WWOOFers' experience as well as giving some space for everyone.'

On the Rosnay property WWOOFers get involved in weeding, pruning, harvesting, bottling and general gardening around the two homes. At times there are things the WWOOFers cannot do and other jobs around the property need to be found. Sam Statham says although this can be inconvenient, it is generally not a problem and they greatly appreciate the help and company.

'Being part of the WWOOF program is a great way for us at Rosnay to get help on the property, while meeting new people, as well as saving money,' Statham said.

Australian grapegrowers who are interested in joining more than 1500 Australian WWOOF hosts must first meet certain requirements. These include being involved in growing or producing organic products and a willingness to provide a safe environment for the workers, as well as being an ambassador for Australia. Once the potential host has met the guidelines they must then contact the Australian WWOOF team directly at [email protected]. For further information visit

Australians can also be WWOOFers overseas by becoming a member through the WWOOF's international website,

For more information about Rosnay Wines visit

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