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Vineyard Manager - Swinney Vineyards

Company: Swinney Vineyards
Location: Western Australia
Type: Permanent
Category: Vineyard / Viticulture

This is the most interesting top-level Vineyard Manager role we have handled in a decade! Planted in 1996, The Swinney Family’s Wilson’s Pool Vineyard has already been described as “(a) very special vineyard ... possibly Western Australia’s most important…” (WA Today, Dec 2015).

Behind the extraordinary wine show results consistently delivered by this site, lies an innovative, technology-based approach to producing multiple quality tiers of custom-grown grapes for long term client/partner wineries. Models for this vineyard management approach exist in Napa Valley, and possibly elsewhere but rarely, if at all, in Australia. The family’s total local vineyard holdings are 165ha, consisting of Wilson’s Pool, Powderbark Ridge and International Hill.

Swinney Vineyards has an outstanding industry reputation, as attested by their client list. Site-specific, sustainable, scientific vineyard management and the objective of a seamless integration of vineyard and clients’ winemaking philosophies underpin the Company’s approach. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling are the mainstays. Other varieties include: Pinot Gris, Touriga, Vermentino, Gewürztraminer, Mencia, Counoise and bush-vine plantings of Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo and Riesling.

Based in West Australia’s Frankland River region, reporting to Viticulture Director, Lee Hazelgrove, you will enjoy a high level of autonomy in managing and planning all vineyard operations. The position is further supported by an experienced board of wine and agriculture specialists. Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Development and implementation of the annual vineyard Operating Plan, based on sustainable viticulture principles.
  • Drive innovation, expansion and continuous improvement across all vineyard operations.
  • Through leadership and example, effectively manage and inspire an established team, including casual staff.
  • Maintain, adapt and develop timely, season-specific fruit quality and weather contingency strategies to meet grape quality and production goals.
  • Effectively liaise with client’s Winemakers and management to ensure a cohesive team approach to achieving the family’s goals.
  • Oversee, maintain and implement all relevant operational and HR, OH&S, procedural and legal compliance requirements, (both internal and external).

The successful candidate will require:

  • A Bachelors’ Degree in Viticulture and/or equivalent qualification from a recognised tertiary institution.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in a comparable scale viticultural management position, with a company producing premium and super-premium quality grapes in a cool climate.
  • Wide-ranging mechanical and technical proficiencies, with problem-solving skills across all vineyard operations
  • A methodical, budget-conscious and results-driven approach.

As a person, you will have:

  • Lateral thinking; a passion to innovate, improve and succeed.
  • An enquiring, innovative, experimental approach based on science and intuition.
  • Strong leadership, motivation and people management skills.
  • The ability to communicate effectively and collaboratively with management and staff.
  • The ability to represent the company to the trade and media.

An attractive remuneration package (including a quality 4 bedroom house), plus appropriate relocation costs, will be offered to the successful candidate.

This is an unusual career opportunity so interested candidates who broadly meet the above requirements are welcome to email to schedule a confidential phone call to discuss the role in more detail. To obtain further details, or to apply in strict confidence please email a letter of application and your CV to Chris Anstee via this website.


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Date: 09 Feb

To find out more about this company, visit the website:

  • To find out more about the Australian wine industry, click here.

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