29 November 2023
For over a decade, Château La Garde and Maison Dourthe have been promoting workplace inclusion by partnering with workers with disabilities. Every year, around forty beneficiaries from ESAT Magdeleine de Vimont (Castres) join in the vineyard activities, fostering a strong bond of trust with the existing team.
The tasks vary from pruning, folding, leaf removal, to manual harvesting in the property’s micro-terroirs. “They are diligent and attentive workers. Their meticulous grape selection perfectly meets our requirements for these terroirs”, details Pierre Estorge, technical manager at Château La Garde (pictured alongside).
Anticipation is key
Guided by attentive instructors skilled in vineyard labor, ESAT workers thrive in the tasks presented to them. “They don’t work at a swift pace, and the hours need to be adjusted, but we completely understand and plan for that”, shares Pierre Estorge. “Actually, it’s this attention to detail and invested time that ensures the success of our outcomes”.
Learning from workers with disabilities
Integrating local workers with disabilities resonates with the values of humility, education, and teamwork that we foster and uphold at Château La Garde, and more broadly within Dourthe. Within the vineyard ranks, where some have treaded for over a decade, ESAT teams become a true extension of our own. They possess an intimate knowledge of the vineyard and hold a deep attachment to it. This enduring partnership’s success lies in its longevity; it teaches us to collaborate with a variety of profiles and tailor workload to each individual. It enhances our day-to-day management of our workforce.
“Working alongside them teaches us humility and respect. It’s also evidence that we can collaborate embracing everyone’s individualities, fostering greater unity.”
Frédéric Bonnaffous, Chief Winemaker.