Vineyard / Orchard Manager
Job Title: Vineyard / Orchard Manager
Reports to: Production Manager, Winemaker, Distiller
La Mare Wine Estate and Distillery is a unique venue situated in the beautiful Jersey countryside, comprising a working estate of vineyards, orchards and beautiful grounds. Established in 1972, La Mare has grown from a small vineyard into a busy tourism attraction, wedding and corporate venue as well as producing a range of local products. Set in the peaceful grounds of a traditional 18th century granite farmhouse, La Mare Wine Estate is a working 25 acre domain, committed to creating the very best wines, ciders and spirits, along with hand-made preserves, fudge, chocolates and Jersey Black Butter, produced within the Genuine Jersey range.
The estate itself is a fascinating combination of history and tradition. Comprising of historic buildings and beautiful gardens; 6 acres of vineyards and 9 acres of orchards; function rooms, a winery, distillery and estate kitchens which produce genuine jersey produce. The Estate offers the highest quality Weddings, Corporate Events, Tours and Tastings and produces a range of delicious products all made on the Estate. In addition to the main Estate, the company also has two retail outlets situated in King Street, and a joint venture with Jersey Pottery at the Airport selling products from the Estate range.
1. Job Purpose: The Role
The Vineyard / orchard manager reports directly to the Production Manager. The Vineyard / orchard manager is responsible for all aspects of vineyard, orchard and associated grounds management. The individual will also assist with the wine and spirits production and other areas of the business in terms of duties as and when required during peak production times, events on and off site and absence and also during the off season.
This role will be responsible for seasonal maintenance of the vineyards and orchards to produce a sustainable quality crop of wine grapes and cider apples. This will include annual pruning, canopy management, trellis instillation and maintenance. Spraying (with associated qualifications. PA1 PA6), mowing, flailing and use of tractors, forklifts and agricultural equipment. Harvesting of the crop and processing using presses. Liaising with contractors and suppliers. Providing maintenance for equipment. Precise record keeping in regard to spraying and associated production duties. Compliance with company green policy, and work practice. Grounds and boundary management and maintenance.
The Vineyard / Orchard manager will work closely with the Production Manager to ensure the delivery of the best possible raw material for beverage production. To maintain and develop the property and grounds within the remit to the highest standard.
2. Responsibilities – Accountabilities
2.1 Manage the vineyard and orchard to include seasonal scheduling of viticultural / arboricultural jobs. Deliver these tasks in a timely manner in relation to the weather. Monitor for disease and act accordingly. Maintain weed control and vine/ tree nutrition. Maintain boundaries and comply with property branchage requirements.
2.2 Work with Production manager to implement budgets to ensure that vineyard, orchard and grounds management is economical and technically correct.
2.3 Evaluate seasonal crop and grounds on a regular basis to ensure that La Mare’s quality standards and expectations are consistently maintained.
2.4 Ensure that high standards of work practice plus adherence to all health and safety policies are maintained in all external areas at all times.
2.5 In conjunction with the Production Manager, process the crop at Harvest time. Manage casual harvest staff, liaise with contractors.
2.6 In conjunction with the Production Manager coordinate policies and procedures between the vineyards, orchards and grounds to deliver the best possible event and visitor experience.
2.7 Prepare reports as and when requested by the Production Manager with regard to crop estimates and condition. Working closely with the production manager help draft and maintain compliance documents and work practice to obtain Red Tractor and Leaf accreditation.
2.8 Work closely with the cellar and Warehouse manager to label and assist with stock movement and the unloading and checking of inward bound goods and materials
2.9 Maintain equipment, service equipment and be adaptable to repair anything relating to grounds and boundaries.
3. Skills – Knowledge – Experience
3.1 Demonstrates an ability to produce a high volume of work in a timely manner, which is accurate, complete and of a high quality standard
3.2 Spraying certificate PA1 PA6
3.3 Forklift license (counter balance / Lift truck)
3.4 Drive and energy to lead and manage a small harvest team and keep them on board and working to team standards.
3.5 Cross-functional working skills with the emphasis on agricultural machinery and grounds equipment light engineering and maintenance.
3.6 A creative and open-minded approach to problem solving.
3.7 Have previous agricultural experience in relation to producing and harvesting a seasonal crop or experience with related agricultural, horticultural, landscaping/gardening industries.
Excellent organisational and communication skills are necessary to maintain current Vineyards and Orchards. Good project/ task management and time management skills are a must together with the ability to communicate effectively at all levels both orally and in writing.