Head of Vineyard Services

Sussex, UK

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Company: VineWorks Ltd

Type:Permanent

Uploaded: 05 January 2023

Closes: 18 January 2023

Head of Vineyard Services (full-time, 40 hrs/wk) 

Reports To: Business Director

Works with: Lead and develop a team of Viticulturists and vineyard managers, support staff and products

Host Employer: VineWorks

Grade: Departmental Head: Competitive (DOE)      

Includes Vehicle and other benefits

Purpose of the Job

To oversee and provide leadership across all aspects of the vineyard services department.

About VineWorks

VineWorks was established in 2006 by James Dodson, Chief Executive Officer, and is based in Plumpton Green, East Sussex. 

At VineWorks, we believe that quality wine starts on the vine. We are cool climate specialists supporting vineyards across the UK with all their viticultural needs, to ensure they produce amazing wines in a sustainable and profitable way.  

Since its inception, VineWorks has established hundreds of vineyards across the UK, and currently services over 90 sites.

We are a rapidly expanding company navigating an ever-changing landscape shaped by post-pandemic and post-Brexit challenges. 

The corporate values that weave through all aspects of our business are: quality, expert, dependable, forward-thinking, innovative, sustainable and customer-focused. 

Duties and responsibilities

  • Work closely with the Business Director to manage and develop the department to achieve agreed performance targets relating to the 2022-25 Business Plan.
  • As a Senior Manager, attend regular Senior Management Team (SMT) meetings to provide regular, detailed progress reports.
  • Line manage viticulturalists, agreeing performance targets and monitoring progress with regular 1-2-1 meetings.
  • Train members of the Vineyard Services department in company standards, policies and protocol.
  • Work with our team of viticulturists and client vineyard managers to maintain and build existing and future business, and maintain a high standard of customer service.
  • Liaise, at regular intervals, with the Staff Operations Officer to ensure vineyard services team are maintaining an accurate and efficient schedule of work several weeks in advance.
  • Oversee budget management across all strands of the department, liaising with the Business Director to monitor profitability and income generation targets.
  • Lead and update the vineyard consultancy packages, exploring new income generating opportunities, (e.g., new products, techniques and machinery).
  • Assist in the development and implementation of a marketing strategy to secure sales of all viticultural offerings.

Including:

  • Build environmental, sustainable and regenerative practices into the vineyard services department product offering as well as the skills/knowledge of the team.
  • Explore, trial and develop new techniques, as well as lead on internal/external research trials and development projects.
  • Identify priorities for team development to support personal, as well as team objectives which relate to the implementation of the Business Plan 2022-25.
  • Attend, with due notice, occasional out-of-hours events (e.g., evenings and weekends) as may be appropriate to the role.
  • To actively engage with industry-wide networking events/committees/development groups to build VineWorks’ reputation as an industry leader.
  • To undertake other duties and tasks that may reasonably be required. 

Person Specification:

Essential: Experience/Knowledge

  • Educated to degree level 

  • 5 years + in cool climate viticulture

  • Proven experience working in the viticultural sector at a senior management level

  • Proven experience in business development and management

  • Demonstrable experience managing teams and individuals 

  • Demonstrable experience managing budgets, especially in relation to profitability and income generation

  • Demonstrable experience in managing client relationships and delivering high quality customer service

  • UK drivers’ licence

  • Spraying certificates and competency in tractor operations 

Skills:

  • Strong leadership skills, especially around developing and implementing strategy.

  • Strong numeracy skills, especially around setting and monitoring targets.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with an ability to work with people both within and outside the organisation. 

  • Excellent research skills and attention to detail.

  • Proven organisational and administrative skills with an ability to prioritise, work to tight timescales and deliver work on time and within budget.

  • Ability to work under pressure, independently and be self-motivated.

  • Ability to work flexibly within a team and adjust to changing priorities. 

  • Excellent ICT skills including Microsoft Office, email, internet and databases.

Desirable  

  • Knowledge and interest in environmentally-sustainable agricultural practices

  • Excellent presentation skills

To apply, please send a covering letter and CV. Where necessary, support with visa can be provided.

Closing date 18th January 2023

Only people eligible to work in this country should apply for this position. Please provide evidence of your work visa or citizenship.

  • For information about the UK wine industry, visit the UK Vineyards Association website: www.ukva.org.uk

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