Vineyard & Nursery Manager
118 Third Street
Merbein, VIC 3505
Application Closing Date
Full Time - Permanent
Light Domestic Travel
Looking for an exciting role in a progressive, optimistic and visionary company as part of a small, dynamic and passionate team? Look no further. For the right candidate, this unique and diverse position offers enormous scope to help drive the future direction of the business and make a significant contribution to the future of Australian wine.
About the Employer
Chalmers are an established name in Australian viticulture with a reputation for excellence, innovation and diversity. The family were named 2014 Viticulturists of the Year by Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine. Their Merbein, Victoria vineyard was established in 2010 as a source block and commercial vineyard. The nursery source blocks at Merbein hold all the clones and varieties imported by Chalmers while the commercial vineyard supplies premium wine grapes from over 20 different grape varieties to more than 25 different winemakers across the eastern states from tiny garage producers to national corporate companies. The Merbein nursery was opened in 2016 as a boutique operation propagating only varieties from the Chalmers collection.
About the Position
This unique role has a high level of responsibility and would be well suited to a candidate with extensive viticulture and managerial experience looking for a long-term position full of opportunity for professional growth and knowledge extension as part of small dynamic team in a trail-blazing family business.
The person undertaking this key role will work directly under Bruce Chalmers to train in the specifics of the viticultural and nursery practices Chalmers have developed in relation to their unique grape varieties and particular regional environmental conditions. Innovation is fostered at Chalmers and it would be expected that the successful applicant would bring to the role a healthy appetite for research and development and knowledge of new techniques and technologies to contribute to the future success of the business.
Vineyard management includes programming of all aspects of year-round viticultural activity including spray programs, soil health and weed management, pest and disease monitoring, irrigation management, scheduling and repairs, staff management, contractor management and supervision, co-ordination of machinery and infrastructure repairs and maintenance, establishment and training of new plantings. Accurate and timely maturity monitoring of over 40 varieties and management of complex harvest logistics requires excellent attention to detail. Managing supplier and customer relationships, budgeting of vineyard operations as well as precise and detailed record keeping are an important part of the job. Being a small team, the manager will also be expected to perform hands on duties as required including tractor work or other on-farm manual roles throughout the year.
Nursery Management entails co-ordinating and supervising source material supply, the physical collection of cuttings, propagation, growing and despatch of vines, liaising with suppliers, keeping logbooks and managing the hot water treatment protocols and operations, keeping abreast of biosecurity controls and regulations between states and between phylloxera zones as well as managing DPI accreditation. The person filling this role will eventually be the main point of contact for customers in the nursery so they will need to be able to consult and advise on the viticulture of all the Chalmers varieties in any given site across Australia so obtaining and retaining a thorough understanding of rootstock and variety characteristics is paramount.
Qualifications and Experience
• Extensive managerial experience in viticulture is essential.
• Formal qualifications in viticulture/agriculture are favourable.
• Nursery experience a bonus but not essential.
• Motivation, initiative and innovative thinking will be highly valued.
• Absolute attention to detail is critical.
• Good retention of information and fast, accurate recall are necessary.
• High level proficiency with digital technology, computers, excel, word and cloud based data systems like GrapeWeb are required.
• Willingness and physical fitness to perform a wide range of manual tasks is essential.
• Chemical User Licence and Forklift Licence are required for the position but can be obtained at the employers expense after employment commences.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required for clear and efficient management of relationships with management and staff, contractors, suppliers and clients.
• Professional personal presentation is essential.
• A pleasant nature and the ability to get along well with a diverse team and broad client base is highly valued.
Remuneration will be considered according to the level of experience of the applicant and will include provision of an attractive salary, accommodation (recently renovated four bedroom house), vehicle or vehicle allowance, computer and mobile phone.
How to Apply
• For more information about Chalmers please visit our website www.chalmers.com.au
• Your application should include a cover letter addressing the criteria outlined in the position description as well as an up-to-date CV including referees.
• Applications and enquiries via email using ‘Apply for Job’ link above.
• All applications will be treated in strict confidence.
Employer Contact Information
PO Box 56
The Chalmers family's commitment to innovation and excellence has made them a pivotal force in the Australian wine scene for almost 30 years. Through their nursery, vineyards and wine brands, Chalmers encourages viticultural diversity and smart site to variety matching as they work to sustainably grow and authentically craft the regional Australian wines of the future.