Vineyard Manager (Wine Jobs: Vineyards & Cellars )

Full Time

  Black Chalk Wine (http://www.blackchalkwine.co.uk)

  Nr Stockbridge, Hampshire, England

                      Black Chalk - Vineyard Manager

 

Black Chalk is an exciting new boutique arrival on the English Sparkling wine scene.  With a raft of plaudits and awards since the launch in 2018, Black Chalk is about to embark upon a new phase of the adventure. This will include the creation of a new winery in time for the 2020 harvest and our own 30a vineyards from January 2020.  The vision is to build a ‘creative space’ that provides both a home for the Black Chalk brand but also provides inspiration for other brands looking to have wines made under contract.  

 

The Vineyard Manager is an integral position within the team, they will be responsible for all aspects of viticulture and the vineyard crew. The successful candidate will work very closely with the winery team to ensure a seamlessly integrated approach to growing and winemaking is achieved. 

 

This position oversees day-to-day vineyard operations with an emphasis on quality, work planning, safety, data management, and equipment maintenance. Additional responsibilities include training and oversight of vineyard employees and contract labour and up-keep of various winemaking records, safety records/reporting, reporting forms and spreadsheets. The position will also include various aspects of work in the winery, sales (tours) and marketing providing exposure to the whole journey from vine to flute. The role is hands on and while a management role it will also include a significant amount of undertaking the work required in the vineyard. A flexible working attitude will be required at key points during the growing season and harvest. 

 

This is a rare opportunity to be involved in an exciting project from the start and help to shape the business, its ethos and most importantly fruit and wines. The role will require hard work, focus and total commitment to quality at every stage but will also provide the platform to create and inspire. 

 

THE ROLE/KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

  • Create, manage and conduct work programs for all aspects of vineyard management including; frost protection, spray programs, canopy management etc. 
  • Monitor pest and disease programs. 
  • Manage all vineyard full time, part time and seasonal workers.
  • Manage training plans for junior members of staff to include third party training courses. 
  • Manage, conduct effective maintenance protocols for all vineyard vehicles and equipment. 
  • Actively seek and recommend areas of improvement for crop quality, cost reduction etc. 
  • Manage and record proper records required both legally and best practice. 
  • Coordinate and oversea equipment needs and supplies. 
  • Assign and supervise work as necessary.
  • Oversee ground maintenance and other agricultural projects as required.
  • Responsible for communication and reporting to the board in relation to vineyard operations.
  • Strategic planning and forecasting.
  • Ability to work extended hours during harvest and peak periods. 
  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively as part of the larger Black Chalk team.
  • Suggest and oversee vineyard experiments and projects.
  • Participate in industry work groups and committees to ensure the business is involved and informed in current debate and discussion. 
  • Ensure environmental compliance and certification including Health and Safety. 

 

 

HARVEST/WINERY/SALES/MARKETING:

 

  • Grape Maturity assessment collaboratively with the winemaker.
  • Work closely with the winemaking team on research and technical experimentation both in the vineyards and the winery.
  • Ensure careful planning and recording of spray programs leading up to harvest. 
  • Organisation of picking crews and harvest logistics collaboratively with the winemaker. 
  • Ability to assist and engage in the winery during harvest.
  • Ability to conduct tours and speak at events. 
  • Ability to represent Black Chalk at industry and consumer facing events. 

 

JOB QUALIFICATIONS:

 

  • Bachelor of Science Degree (Viticulture degree preferred) with at least 3 years of experience including cool climate vineyard management.
  • Passion for viticulture and wine and commitment to excellence and high standards.
  • Ability to make educated, timely and sound viticultural decisions. Detail oriented, takes initiative and comfortable delegating tasks.
  • Strong tractor driving skills.
  • Safe use of pesticide certificates licenses (PA1, PA3, PA6). 
  • Very strong organising, planning, supervising, and problem solving skills. Able to multitask and manage changing priorities while maintaining a positive attitude working both as a team and alone. 
  • Excellent (English) verbal and written communication skills. Strong computer background with proficiency in Microsoft Office/Mac.
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to drive a car.
  • Excellent forklift skills.
  • Full right to work in the UK.

 

 

 

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

 

  • Experience writing reports, business correspondence and procedure manuals.
  • Experience presenting information and responding to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers and the general public. 
  • Tele-handler licence.
  • Skilled in the use of MS Word, MS Excel, MS Access, MS PowerPoint at an intermediate level. 
  • Experience defining problems, collecting data, establishing facts and drawing valid conclusions.  
  • Experience working under a variety of climatic conditions. 
  • Experience following established procedures to perform tasks that are somewhat difficult in nature, requiring frequent evaluation, originality or ingenuity. 
  • Excellent knowledge of the organic and conventional viticulture practices associated with the most popular grape varieties in England. 
  • Knowledge of viticultural and winemaking equipment, processes and procedures in Sparkling wine production. 
  • Trailer licence 

 

JOB REQUIREMENTS:

 

  • Full right to work in the UK.
  • Must be able to work indoors, outdoors, and in various temperature extremes
  • Must be able to work long hours, and possibly weekends and holidays, especially during harvest season
  • Ability to lift up to 25Kgs regularly.

 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts; high, precarious places; confined spaces; fumes or airborne particles; toxic or caustic chemicals; and outside weather conditions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. 

Competitive Salary commensurate with experience.

How To Apply

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to Jacob Leadley at winemaker@blackchalkwine.co.uk

The closing date for applications is Friday 22nd November 2019.

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