“If my hands stay strong, I want to work at Jean Leon until I retire”

Jean Leon

12/02/2018

Meet Rosa Munné. She has worked Jean Leon's vineyards for 22 years. When she started out, she was one of nine women on the team; now she's the only one left. We sat down for a chat with this veteran of our winery team to talk about the past, the present, and the future.

Vineyard work often seems like the domain of men. What is it like for you?

I was born into a farming family and when I heard that they were looking for people at Jean Leon, I came here. It hasn't been difficult for me.

How do you get along with the team?

Very well, excellent, I never run into problems. I’m not bothered by being the only woman working with a bunch of men.  We make a good team.

Is the work hard?

Depending on the season, sometimes it's tough, sometimes less so.

What time of year is the most challenging?

For me, personally, the summer. You can bundle up in the winter and protect yourself from the cold, but the summer heat is unbearable. It takes a lot more effort.

What is the toughest of all vineyard tasks?

Pruning the Guyot. It's tough, but luckily it doesn't last very long. A month or so.

What makes pruning so complicated?

You have to use two-handed pruning shears, and that takes serious strength. Also, any kind of mistake can affect the flowering of the vine. If you don't prune the vine properly, it won't perform the way you want it to perform in the future.

Does it require a lot of technical skill?

Really it comes down to practice and having someone show you how to do it, and I had a great teacher.

How has the work changed in the 22 years since you started?

Pruning has essentially stayed the same. Now we prune with electric shears instead of compressors. Now we attach the shoots mechanically whereas before we used manual ties. Canopy management is the same as 22 years ago. It is very manual and hasn't really changed over the years.

Is it easy to balance work and family life?

I've never had any problems in that regard. I have two children, and I've always managed to combine my work and home life whenever necessary. They're teenagers now, and I was already working here by the time they were born.

So, there has always been quite a bit of flexibility...

Very much so, I really can't complain. Quite the contrary.

Do you think this has anything to do with the fact that the winery is run by a woman?

I think so. Women have a lot more empathy for each other, and that is something you notice in the day-to-day.

How do you envision your future at Jean Leon?

It depends on how I'm doing physically. Remember these are all very routine tasks, year round. We use our hands a lot, from when we start pruning to the moment we tie off the canes. It's very manual work. As long as my hands stay strong, I want to work here until I retire. Time will tell.

Categorías: Jean Leon