Viticulturist - Phantom Creek Estates
Phantom Creek Estates
4354 Black Sage Road
Oliver, BC V6X 3M1
Full Time - Permanent
Light Domestic Travel
This is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor as the Viticulturist of one of the most exciting new wineries in North America. The Okanagan has been described by some as a cross between the Napa Valley and Yosemite in its beauty. We are in South Eastern British Columbia - in Canada’s only desert.
The South Okanagan's climate and varying soils are ideally suited to Bordeaux varieties and Syrah. Next door, the Similkameen is an emerging viticultural area, which we have identified for its exceptional potential for Riesling and Pinot Gris. This is a remarkable opportunity to work with a dedicated owner to build a one of the leading family wineries in Canada. It’s an opportunity to work with a talented team of devoted wine professionals in some of the best vineyard sites in Canada. We are also privileged to work with industry-leading consultants, including Olivier Humbrecht MW of Alsace's Domaine Zind-Humbrecht..
Phantom Creek Estates is currently seeking a Viticulturist with organic farming background or demonstrated desire and the education to move into this field. This person will be responsible for providing in-house viticultural services and managing the small team of vineyard managers, foremen and vineyard workers. The goal is to grow exceptional quality grapes consistent with the needs of the winery in order to achieve the goals of the business.
The Viticulturist will report to the General Manager and will work very closely with the Winemaker.
This is a technical and leadership position, focused on improving the quality of grapes produced in PCE’s estate vineyards, while maximizing the efficiency of vineyard operations. We currently own just over 200 acres of estate vineyards and the Viticulturist will be the key driver of organic and biodynamic farming at PCE. You will work very closely with the Winemaker and play a key role in the production of outstanding single vineyard wines. You will oversee and support the talented team of Vineyard Managers, providing direction for all viticultural activities, including irrigation, nutrient amendments, spray programs, pest and disease management, canopy management, pruning, and organic and biodynamic practices.
Technical Field Work
• Organizing and interpreting all plant, soil nutrient and water status analyses.
• Scouting for pests and diseases on all properties.
• Regular and ongoing visual inspection and assessment of all vineyards and blocks.
• Yield prediction.
• Other plant measurements and record keeping, such as pruning weights, canopy area assessments, bunch and berry data, etc.
• Managing all viticulture trials.
Organics and Biodynamics
• Working with certification bodies to ensure all requirements for both organic and biodynamic certification are met.
• Sourcing all materials and consumables required for organic and biodynamic farming, including compost and compost ingredients, manure, fungicides, biodynamic preparations, etc.
• Assist Vineyard Managers in the practical application of organics and biodynamics.
• Responsible for all record keeping and paperwork associated with organic and biodynamic farming.
• Establishing annual operations and capital budgets.
• Overseeing all vineyard developments and replanting.
• Continuing to search for new technologies to improve grape quality and vineyard efficiency.
• Record keeping and analysis of all technical field data and trials.
• Recommend and implement Vineyard database system.
• Record keeping associated with sprays and other vineyard inputs.
• Record keeping for all harvested grape weights.
• Assist with outside grower contracts. Vineyard Work (10%)
• Leading by example in the vineyard, and assisting as required, including demonstrations, tractor work, organic and biodynamic activities, and supervision of seasonal and local crews.
Housing and a vehicle will be provided to the successful candidate. Further, assistance for a work permit will also be offered.
• Bachelors (4 Year) degree or equivalent in Viticulture or related plant science
• 3 - 5 years of general viticulture experience with a focus in Organic and Biodynamic farming. Preferably Biodynamic farming.
•Experience and knowledge with quality-focused winegrowing. Attention to detail a must.
• Experience and knowledge with cool climate winegrowing on hillside terroir preferred.
• Knowledge/experience with Pest identification/monitoring, Irrigation Water Management and Vine Nutrition beneficial.
• Computer skills including database management, spreadsheets, word processing
• Spanish language skills a plus. Technical & management skills:
• PCA & PAL licenses preferred but not required.
• Valid drivers license with a clean record necessary. Personal & interpersonal skills:
• Good organizational skills
• Effective communication skills
• Ability to work well within a team environment and collaborate effectively.
• Must be willing to work a flexible schedule with extended hours, especially during harvest.
If you have a passion for excellence, innovation and fun, this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. This position can develop into a Senior Viticulturist role within the company for the right person.
"The WineAlign team tasted the current releases in Toronto in mid-February. It was among the most impressive tastings of BC wines our critics have ever done.... I am not sure I have ever seen such seamless integration and tailoring of viticulture and winemaking."
Employer Contact Information
Phantom Creek Estates
4354 Black Sage Road
Phantom Creek Estates is home to estate vineyards across two distinct benches in the Okanagan Valley. Uniquely influenced by geological forces millennia in the making, today these acclaimed, historic vineyards are each farmed according to meticulous organic and biodynamic techniques.