How our Wellness Programme changed a winemaker's life

Our winemaker’s journey to a healthier lifestyle

During the 2014 Christmas season, Constellation Brands Winemaker Dave Edmonds was on holiday with his family in the Marlborough Sounds — but there was something nagging him in the back of his mind. Standing 179 centimetres tall (about 5-foot-9) and tipping the scales at 113 kilograms (nearly 250 pounds), he knew he was overweight and had to find a way to manage it.

“When I got back to work, there it was, waiting for me,” he says.

Dave Edmonds Winemaker
Dave Edmonds, Chief Winemaker

Through the Wellness Committee, Constellation Brands had organised and paid for a four-week taster of the Get2It fitness programme in Blenheim. The online programme came with shopping lists, recipes and an exercise plan, with weekly weigh-ins sent to a personal trainer every Wednesday.

The trainer was quite clear about her expectations in her introductory email to participants: “Weights need to be sent to me every Wednesday. First thing in the morning, get up, go to the toilet, and jump on those scales.”

Today, Dave is holding steady at 85 kilograms (or 188 pounds) and says the programme — and the wellness committee — helped change his life.

“I wrote a letter to the wellness committee, thanking them for what they did. It was pretty incredible. The wellness committee just seems so low-key but the initiatives that they put into place can be life changing. I don’t have an insight into how the committee operates but it’s obviously some passionate people who really care.”

The committee trials a wide range of activities. What inspires some people to get involved won’t inspire others. In 2017, all Marlborough staff received a voucher for one-hour massages just before harvest. While in Auckland, the office gave massage vouchers and started yoga classes.