Winemaker (maternity cover) (Wine Jobs: Vineyards & Cellars )


  Chapel Down (

  Tenterden, Kent, England

The Role

This role is responsible for the production of a premium and super-premium range of still, carbonated, and traditional method wines. This includes realising the maximum potential quality and value from our fruit and working to a production schedule in-house and with third party contractors. An ultimate focus on quality and sustainability is required at the same time as identifying cost savings through operational and materials efficiencies.

This is a key role in supporting the Operations Director in the delivery of our vision to be the No.1 and most celebrated English wine producer. The Winemaker will be a proven leader with high organisational and planning skills who will need to liaise with multiple departments and be comfortable communicating both internally and externally. The level of oenological knowledge expected is high and the individual must be driven to keep this knowledge up to date. They will lead a team of four and have one direct report. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Winemaker to play a key part in the next phase of development of one of the UK’s leading wine producers over a fixed twelve-month period whilst the Winemaker takes maternity leave. It requires an individual who can manage a small team to realise our ambitious growth targets in the short term in addition to feeding into longer term expansion projects

Key Responsibilities

Quality: Production of super-premium, consistently high-quality wines. Making well informed oenological decisions regarding fruit and wine processing to maximise the quality and potential value of our grapes. Ensure all steps are followed to eliminate the possibility of product non-compliance.

Team leadership: Lead, motivate and manage the winery team to maximise their performance and retention.

Sustainability: Record and submit all data needed for accreditation with SWGB scheme. Take additional steps as required to increase the environmental sustainability of Chapel Down.

Vineyard liaison: Develop relationships with existing partner growers which is key for management of fruit intake at harvest. 

Compliance: Staying abreast of statutory requirements to ensure all winemaking adheres to current guidance, including quality wine schemes. Working towards accreditation with BRC or SALSA. 

Coordinating harvest: Managing the receipt, analysis and processing of grapes from our sites, in addition to partner growers.

Production planning: Working with the Head of Production, ensure winemaking is planned to ensure that forecast sales volumes can be met through our own production facilities and via third party contractors.

Continual product improvement and NPD: Lead on winemaking trials and process changes to improve the quality of our existing range in addition to any NPD required.

Procurement of winery supplies: Making well informed procurement decisions and conduct negotiations with suppliers. Accurately track costs of dry goods, packaging materials and temporary staff to identify efficiencies and materials savings.

Health and Safety management: Responsible for keeping and communicating updated risk assessments, conducting inductions for permanent and agency staff, and leading a H&S focussed style of work in the winery.

Record keeping: Accurately document all winemaking practices in order to ensure full product traceability.

Brand representation: Being able to confidently represent and communicate the brand values and winemaking to internal and external partners.

Recruitment: Sourcing and onboarding of permanent and temporary staff members for all winery and bottling work. 

Machinery maintenance: Ensuring proactive and reactive machinery maintenance and fault finding is conducted in-house and by contractors to minimise downtime and extend working life of machinery


Tertiary qualification in Oenology (BSc, DNO or post-grad equivalent)

Experience working with winery production software to ensure traceability and visibility to others within the organisation 

Extensive experience in winemaking, ideally including cool-climate traditional method sparkling

Working within or towards accreditation standards of BRC or SALSA

Proven ability to manage teams effectively

Production planning to meet sales forecast

Third party contractor management


Proven winemaking credentials

First class leadership and management skills with excellent communication

Ability to think about winemaking from an environmentally sustainable perspective

Strong negotiation skills with suppliers

Mechanical and/or pneumatic engineering understanding

Willingness and desire to focus on a H&S focussed workplace. IOSH qualification desirable

Ability to look ahead, anticipate change, and plan accordingly

Strong aptitude with MS packages, especially Excel

How To Apply

Please apply via the following link:

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