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Position: Vineyard Tractor/ Machine Operator
Employer: Fort Berens Estate Winery
Location: Lillooet, BC. Local Candidates preferred, but for the right candidate we would consider anyone in Canada

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 possibly enroll in formal education and training (Viticulture program, Tractor, Computer, Pesticide Applicators license and Forklift License). Some orchard, viticulture, horticulture experience is necessary, but not an asset. Our priority is finding the right person to join our team and help us grow premium grapes in the Lillooet region.

In conjunction with the Vineyard Manager, the Tractor/Machine Operator will assist in All vineyard activities.

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


  • Valid BC driver’s license
  • Tractor operation experience and Vineyard implements (400+ hrs would be an asset)
  • Strong Mechanical capabilities and problem solving
  • Passion for working outdoors, wine, viticulture, plants, and healthy soils
  • Self-starter, with initiative and the desire to increase knowledge and skills
  • A team player, able to work and interact with many different players
  • Physically fit, in good health and able to work outdoors throughout the year
  • Strong and effective communication skills
  • Pesticide Applicator Certificate considered an asset
  • Vineyard or Fruit tree experience is a bonus but not required
  • Canadian citizenship, permanent residency, work permit or other Canadian immigration status allowing the candidate to be employed in the position
  • Sense of Humour is required


The Tractor/Machine Operator will be responsible for all Tractor related duties.

  • Participates in all vineyard operations.
    • Canopy Management: Spring Pruning, tying, shoot thinning, tucking, shoot positioning, leaf removal, leaf thinning
    • Fruit Management; lateral removal, fruit dropping
    • Harvest; Harvest of grapes including manual labour and tractor
    • Pruning
    • Trellis Maintenance; repairs, wires, posts, of vineyard trellis system
  • Execute all equipment operations included but not limited to mulching, mowing, spraying, etc.
  • Safe and effective operation of vineyard equipment, implements and vehicles
  • Understand operation of and preventative maintenance of all vineyard equipment
  • Keep all vineyard spray records accurate and up to date
  • Light duty maintenance and cleaning of equipment (trucks, tractors, sprayers, ATVs)

* The above information is representative of the work performed in this position; however, it is not all-inclusive. The omission of a specific duty or responsibility does not exclude it from the position if the work is similar or related to the essential duties and responsibilities.


This is a permanent full-time position. Starting salary is $20/hr.

How to apply / contact information:

Send your resume plus a motivational letter/email before January 31st to:
Chris Marquardt, Vineyard Foreman. Email:
Fort Berens Estate Winery
PO Box 758, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Nov 1 2021    ID: 61759