From English Country Gardeners

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A great opportunity has arisen for an enthusiastic Vineyard Operative / Assistant Gardener to join a small team on a beautiful historic estate in the Surrey Hills, just 15 minutes from the centre of Guildford. The estate comprises 60 acres of land including 10 acres of vineyard and 5 acres of formal and semi-formal gardens. The family is extremely passionate about their vineyard venture, cultivating Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes to produce premium quality sparkling white, sparkling rose and still rose wines. The gardens open to the public for the National Gardens Scheme and for various charity events during the summer. Next year, the vineyard enters an exciting new phase with the completion of a Tasting Barn and the introduction of vineyard tours and tastings. The successful applicant will be reporting to and working closely with the owners and Estate Manager.

The candidate should have a minimum two years’ experience of cool climate viticulture with a good understanding of seasonal canopy management. They will have experience working with tractors and vineyard machinery and, ideally, PA1, PA6 and PA3 spray certification. They will have a strong work ethic with a desire to learn and extend their experience, be proactive and flexible. Candidates with limited viticultural but strong, transferable agricultural experience may also be considered. A significant proportion of this role is also to assist in the maintenance of the gardens and estate, so general horticultural knowledge will be a definite asset as will experience with a range of machinery such as mowers, strimmers and hedgecutters. The extensive gardens are maintained to a very high standard, so a professional approach with an eye for detail are essential.

Viticultural or horticultural qualifications are not a prerequisite – what is preferable is an applicant with solid experience who is keen to learn, adaptable and organised. They will be confident and motivated, able to work within a small team and willing to take on responsibilities.

Job Specifications:

Vineyard (under supervision of the Estate Manager)

  • Annual pruning
  • Frost protection measures
  • Management of the water storage tanks for the frost protection and fertigation systems
  • Tractor driving including mowing, undervine cultivation with mechanical hoe, vine trimming and spraying
  • Managing the vine canopy during the growing season including bud rubbing and shoot thinning, tucking-in, leaf removal, green harvest as necessary, disease monitoring and collecting samples for analysis
  • Helping with data collection
  • Operating the dripline fertigation system ( providing nutrients to the vines)
  • Assisting with the harvest
  • Management and maintenance of the irrigation system for the planting around the Tasting Barn
  • Undertaking repairs to the trellising and routine checks on machinery
  • Help to supervise contract labour teams as required
  • Operate within all health and safety guidelines


  • Maintaining beds of mixed planting, climbers and roses
  • Maintaining extensive box and yew topiary
  • Caring for lawns including mowing, scarifying, aerating, moss and weed control and feeding
  • Pruning of fruit trees
  • Spraying herbicides, fungicides and foliar feeds
  • Planting shrubs, trees and perennials
  • Strimming and hedge cutting
  • Providing help with the small alpaca herd as necessary

Terms and conditions:

Salary : £30K-35K based on experience

Working Hours : 8.30-5.30pm Monday-Friday.

Note : Seasonal flexibility and flexibility around events/ harvest is required with occasional weekend work ( always agreed in advance).

1 hour for lunch, 15 minute break am and pm

Holiday : 28 days including bank holidays.

Optional Salary Sacrifice pension plan after 3 month

JOB REF: EC58917

If this Viticulturist vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Tom Little on 01233 733510 or

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Thank you for the interest you have shown in this Viticulturist  vacancy.  Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications that we receive, it is not possible to respond to every one.  Therefore, unless you hear from us within the next 14 days, your application for this Viticulturist vacancy will have been unsuccessful.