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Jobs at Benchmark Consulting

Viticulturist - Hamel Family Wines

Location: Sonoma, CA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

THE CLIENT

Hamel Family Wines (“HFW”) – a premium, limited-production winery primarily focused on producing high-quality, terroir driven Bordeaux varietal blends from our estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley – has retained Benchmark Consulting to locate and screen candidates for this key position.

HFW believes that the greatest contributing factor to the wine quality is the caliber of the vineyard and the vineyard management practices. Thus, HFW meticulously farms 100 acres using intensive organic and biodynamic practices. The vineyard management and winemaking are directed by the Managing Director of Winegrowing. 

 
THE POSITION

This position will monitor, implement, and assist in managing HFW’s established viticulture program, with the goal of maintaining the highest level of vine and soil health and grape quality from our estate vineyards.
 
The successful candidate will have:

  • A strong interest in and understanding of grape growing at a high-quality level
  • Be willing to work hard in a very detailed environment
  • Be prepared to work long, concentrated hours including weekends during peak periods throughout the growing season

 

LOCATION

This position is located at the winery in Sonoma, California. 

 

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

This position will report specifically to HFW’s Managing Director of Winegrowing, and to HFW’s management team generally.

 

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Viticulturist Roles 

  • Work closely with winemaking team to ensure biodynamic and organic viticulture practices meet qualitative winegrowing goals on 100 acres of estate vineyard across five properties
  • Coordinate work with internal vineyard team that will be divided into two crews, with each consisting of one vineyard foreman, three equipment operators and four vineyard workers
  • Track daily work and tasks for vineyard team in Agcode and assist in scheduling vineyard work
  • Work with HFW’s Office Manager to track per acre vineyard costs
  • Work with Managing Director of Winegrowing to schedule vineyard work with vineyard management contractor as needed throughout growing season
  • Monitor quality control of vineyard work
  • Monitor and document all phenological data
  • Track and document all phenological data on internal Excel spreadsheets
  • Run research and development projects in the vineyards with winemaking team
  • Conduct plant virus testing and monitoring
  • Manage spray program and integrated pest management program as determined by winegrowing team
  • Maintain all CDFA, CCOF and Demeter certification paperwork as it pertains to the vineyard
  • Implement and monitor safety procedures and protocols for vineyard team
  • Develop HFW nursery for plant material
  • Maintain and monitor weather stations
  • Maintain compliance with local, regional, state and federal regulations as they pertain to vineyard operations

 

 
PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Viticulturist Qualifications

  • Proven experience with vineyard management in organic and/or biodynamic vineyards to execute winegrowing objectives
  • Ability to effectively connect, engage and lead across all levels of the business from the workers, equipment operators, foreman to winemaking team and management
  • Viticulture, horticulture, agricultural sciences, or biology degree preferred
  • In-depth experience with Agcode and Excel preferred
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, ability to prioritize and produce desired results, meet deadlines, and stay on top of deliverables
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish strongly preferred
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs.
  • Tractor operator certification preferred
  • Valid driver’s license

 

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