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Position: Vineyard Irrigation Technician (full-time)
Farm: Fort Berens Winery
Location: Lillooet, BC

About Fort Berens

Fort Berens is a winery with a vineyard, a tasting room and an outdoor patio restaurant in Lillooet, BC. Our vineyards are rooted on sage-brush covered bench-land along the Fraser River at the base of the Coast Mountains. The sandy soil, arid summers, and moderate winters are perfect for growing premium grapes. We are committed to handcrafting award-winning wines that reflect our unique terroir. Our Winery and Tasting Room are in a state-of-the-art modern building with breathtaking vistas. Our philosophy is to be an open, honest, and inclusive company and we encourage learning and development in the workplace.

Sustainable & organic practices

Our goal is to create handcrafted award-winning wines that reflect our unique Lillooet terroir. We like to have our wines tell the story of our terroir with limited intervention and manipulation. As a result, we have started to work as a sustainable farm. We use many organic practices and we are continually trying to improve and expand these every year. As an example, after abandoning herbicide sprays in our vineyard, and moving to finger weeding, we’re currently working on introducing cover crops to minimize tilling and working the soils, while reducing compaction and improving the organic matter in our soils in a natural way. We mow alternate rows, not the entire vineyard at once, to make sure that beneficial insects can find a place to go, and by doing so, keeping pests out of the vines as much as possible.

We have created and improved natural landscaping elements around the vineyards and winery to reduce the need for irrigation in our landscaping, to show to our visitors the beauty of the locally grown plants, to encourage local wildlife (birds of prey, insects etc.), and to educate tourists about the ecology of our desert-like area.

The important thing is that we keep improving, working with the local invasive species, naturalist societies and beekeepers to improve our practices while maintaining a healthy crop. In addition, once we move into the winemaking process, we often ferment with indigenous yeasts.

JOB DESCRIPTION

We are looking for a high-potential candidate, who could have the ability to become a Lead Hand or Field Supervisor in 2-3 years. We offer on-the-job training as well as opportunities to enroll in formal education and training (Viticulture program, Tractor, Computer, Pesticide Applicators license and Forklift License). Some viticulture/horticulture experience is an asset, but not necessary. Our priority is finding the right person to join our team and help us grow premium grapes in the Lillooet region.

The Irrigation Tech will assist the Vineyard Manager in all viticulture and irrigation activities.

The Irrigation Tech must be willing to work non-standard hours (minimum 40hrs/week), with possible evenings and weekends, as needed.

Qualifications

  • A minimum of one-year general irrigation experience would be an asset
  • Passion for working outdoors, wine, viticulture, plants, and healthy soils
  • Self-starter, with initiative and the desire to increase knowledge and skills
  • A leader and team player, able to work and interact with many different players
  • Physically fit and able to work outdoors throughout the year
  • Strong, effective communication and problem-solving skills
  • Functional knowledge of office software (MS Word, Excel)
  • BC driver’s license necessary
  • Pesticide Applicator Certificate, First Aid Level I (or willing to acquire these)
  • Vineyard or Fruit tree experience is a bonus but not required
  • Sense of Humour is required

Responsibilities

The Irrigation Technician will be responsible for all Irrigation related duties:

  • Fieldwork including checking irrigation lines, cleaning filters, plugging leaks, replacing emitters/drip lines, Fertigation and repairing below the ground pipe.
  • End of season Blow Out lines
  • Supervise and maintain the operation of pumps, motors, and filter systems.
  • Recording of daily irrigation times, Soil Moisture probes and fertigation amounts by block.
  • Adhere to all Company Environmental, Health and Safety Policies
  • During a large portion of the year, you will be performing other vineyard field work that is applicable, like pruning, thinning, tractor operations, mowing, harvesting, etc.

Offer:

This is a full time, year-round position. Starting salary and benefits will be according to experience.

How to apply / contact information:

Send your resume plus a motivational letter/email before February 28th to:
Chris Marquardt, Vineyard Foreman. chris@fortberens.ca
Fort Berens Estate Winery
PO Box 758, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0
cell: 778-212-0241

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Nov 12 2020    ID: 57915