Hi there followers of Wendy’s blog! Ever wondered what it would be like working for a Vineyard Tour Company? Read on for a little bit about my experience.
I’m Natalie (sans h), and it’s been 3 months since I started work as an intern for Vin en Vacances, 3 crazy months which have flown by, obviously caught on the back of that famous Languedoc wind. Now that it has reached September and the flurry of activity has started to gradually subside, I can look back on the last 3 months and say that I have absorbed the workload and lifestyle relatively well. I have still got 2 months left, so without speaking too soon, I think it is still safe to say that I’ve had a really fabulous and inspiring summer.
After studying French and Italian at University for 4 years, I flew out to Carcassonne just 3 days after my final exam – I think I was quite keen to get away from the stifling life of a final year undergraduate – and the only expectations I had about starting an internship with a vineyard tour company included being pretty sure I wouldn’t spend the next 5 months holed up in a library until 3am drinking copious amounts of tea. I was right on this front. I have not stepped foot in a library for a while and…oh I do still drink quite a lot of tea. I did not know what my role would entail, so it was a great relief to find that there really is no specific role, but a melange of duties which are very diverse and make for interesting and exciting work.
Probably the most challenging aspect of working as an intern for Vin en Vacances is the enormous amount of organisation required to make sure all the tours run smoothly. I am quite an organised person as a general rule, so for me to find this aspect challenging really says something about how much goes on behind the scenes in a small independent business. One of the sentences I keep saying to people is “I don’t know how Wendy ever did all this on her own!” This is the first year Wendy has taken on an intern, which means that she has been running the business toute seule for 6 years. This just shows how determined and dedicated Wendy is to what she does.
It has been a really great opportunity to form relationships with a lot of different people in the industry, including wine makers, wine professionals, shop owners, cheese makers, honey makers and restaurateurs. Not only that, but I’ve been also been able to take part in a lot of the tours so I seized that opportunity to start making promotional videos and taking photographs of the breathtaking scenery. Here’s the video I made of the Gourmet Tour.
And to top it off with a claim to fame, I was also video-interviewed by the Carcassonne radio station Chérie FM about Wendy’s book “The Wines of the Languedoc Roussillon”. Which was actually a little less daunting than it sounds as it was my lovely next door neighbour Pierre who conducted the interview! Give it a watch here.
Safe to say that this region has something quite magical about it, and the people I’ve met, worked with and spent time with over the past few months will always have a little corner of my heart.