Viticulturalist/Director of Farming - Phantom Creek Estates
Full Time - Permanent
Light Domestic Travel
This is a newly created, high profile position at one of North America’s most exciting Estates. Reporting to the CEO, and working in close collaboration with the Winemaker, the Viticulturist/Director of Farming will lead a team of vineyard managers, viticultural technicians, tractor operators and temporary workers to execute farming at the highest level of excellence, while following organic and biodynamic principles.
Phantom Creek Estates is a highly anticipated new winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds and Alsatian whites from storied vineyard sites. By farming its vineyards with care and precision, Phantom Creek produces wines that celebrate and speak to where they are grown.
Phantom Creek Estates owns and farms 200 acres of vineyards in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys in southern British Columbia, Canada, distributed in 6 different vineyards sites, including the acclaimed Phantom Creek vineyard. Despite the relative proximity of the various vineyards, each site has unique terroir, which is highlighted by the single vineyard emphasis of our wines.
At Phantom Creek Estates, we believe in good stewardship of the land. All the vineyards are in transition to organic and biodynamic certification under the guidance of Olivier Humbrecht, owner and winemaker of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace, France’s first Master of Wine and current President of Biodyvin.
Reporting to the CEO, this is a management position focused on improving the quality of grapes produced in PCE’s estate vineyards, while maximizing the efficiency of vineyard operations. The Viticulturist will be the key driver of organic and biodynamic farming at PCE.
Managing the Team
• Lead, coach, develop and manage a high-performance operations team including but not limited to, hiring and performance reviews
• Efficiently manage people and equipment to ensure that all operations are completed on time and to specification
• Work as a team to produce the Annual Vineyard Management Plan to ensure best practices in the fields of:-
o Winter pruning
o Soil management
o Yield management
o Irrigation management
o Spray programs
o Pest and disease control
o Vine nutrition
o Canopy management
o Fruit maturity/condition and harvest management
• Direct and oversee the technical data collection, collation and analysis programme.
• Regular and ongoing visual inspections, discussions and assessments of all vineyards and blocks.
• Work closely and collaborate with the Winemaker to play a key role in the production of outstanding single vineyard wines.
• Provide technical information and advice including policy guidelines and SOPs.
• Manage the company tender/procurement process for vineyard input materials.
• Establish and manage annual operations and capital purchase budgets.
• Pursuit of excellence by collaboration with domestic and international organizations to ensure PCE is operating with the latest technologies and methodologies for continual advancement and innovation.
• Sourcing and applying for any grants to advance our research and development opportunities.
Organics and Biodynamics
• Liaise and collaborate with Wine Consultant, Olivier Humbrecht to determine appropriate biodynamic practices for each site.
• 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.
• Advise the Vineyard Managers in the practical application of organics and biodynamics.
• Review and advise on the record keeping and paperwork associated with organic and biodynamic farming.
• Host academic, media and industry.
• Represent PCE with professional organizations, conferences and seminars.
• Establish wide, effective and collaborative working relationships.
• Formal Bachelor’s Degree in Viticulture or Horticulture or equivalent in Viticulture or related plant science. Masters preferred.
• Minimum of 5 years viticulture experience within a structured work environment with a focus in organic and Biodynamic farming.
• Experience in cold climate growing hillside terrior preferred.
• Effective people manager who demonstrates ability to grow/develop a strong team.
• Ability to work with technical experts to identify and evolve best practices that can be implemented into operations.
• Advanced computer skills including Microsoft Office suite.
• Proven planning, organization and operational excellence skills.
• Ability to reinforce our values (caring, authenticity, refinement and excellence).
• Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to present and public speak with skills and confidence.
If you have a passion for excellence, innovation and fun, this may be the opportunity you have been looking for.
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.