Vineyard Assistant/Crop Technician

  • Company: Childford Hundred Limited
  • Closing Date: 01-04-2020
  • Location: CB21 4LE
  • Salary: To be agreed upon appointment
  • Contact Email:


Chilford Hall are looking for a Apprentice Vineyard Assistant. This is mostly outdoor work and is an opportunity for someone who wants a career in one of the UK's fastest growing Business's. Part of the job is to study a Viticulture Apprenticeship at Plumpton College for 2 years. It is ideal for someone who aspires to be a Vineyard Manager.

The Vineyard has an opportunity for an Apprentice with an aspiration to move into Vineyard Management through the level 3 apprenticeship in Crop Production (Viticulture). 

Candidates should be interested in furthering their career in the industry, and have experience of all year outdoor working

Duties to include:

  • Manual viticulture practices - maintaining vineyards and surrounding areas in check. (winter pruning, canopy management etc)
  • Machinery operations, mowing, trimming, cultivation, spraying
  • Harvesting – carry out harvesting, including assessment of timing and quality
  • Off season - trellising installation, repairs
  • Maintenance & preparation of Soil - to ensure efficient & healthy growth of the crop/plant; Soil sampling to ensure appropriate nutrition is correct
  • Other farm and vinery work during quieter periods of the Viticulture season

Desired skills

  • Tractor skills
  • Forklift skills
  • A willingness to learn or improve viticultural skills
  • Experience of working outdoors
  • A valid UK driving Licence is required due to the nature of the role, for operation of machinery

Personal qualities

  • Self-motivating - some tasks and responsibilities may be carried out by the apprentice by themselves
  • The ability to work alone without supervision is key
  • People - Team working; ability to work with and instruct others to complete tasks
  • Professional Attitude at all times to other employees and Customers
  • Adaptability and Flexibility - a wide range of tasks need completing in vineyards, and they may change on a daily basis

Desired qualifications

4 to 5 GCSE's (or equivalent) - including maths & English. Additional learning support in maths & English can be offered. The course is of A level standard  - the ability to learn and revise by oneself is crucial.

Future prospects

The level 3 Apprenticeship (Crop technician, Viticulture) is an ideal qualification for those aspiring to take a senior position in vineyard management. The 2 year course is designed to develop knowledge and skills of apprentices so they can in several years’ time take a more senior role.

Things to consider

The Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage guide (ANMW):

About the employer

A family owned 20 acre vineyard established in 1972 set out on South Westerly facing slopes over looking the Granta valley. The business is currently advising on the establishment of two new vineyards, which we will manage for the owners. As well as producing our own wine, we contract wine make for four other vineyards with another three coming on board from 2021.

The Chilford Hall estate has been in the Alper family since 1966 when it was bought by the late entrepreneur Sam Alper. Sam Alper had a keen interest in wine, art and sculpture and it is these interests which shaped the development of the estate making it a destination with a profound sense of individuality, wherever you look there is something of beauty and interest for each visitor.

Planting of the first vines took place in 1972, making Chilford Hall Vineyard one of the oldest established vineyards in England. Situated amongst the rolling chalk hills of the Cambridgeshire downs, the estate is a consistent producer of high-quality award-wining wines.

Expanding the vineyard

Since its first planting, the vineyard has grown in size and now covers more than 20 acres, comprised of 9 different vine varieties each chosen to perfectly match the climate and soil conditions of the estate. With more than a quarter of a century of expertise, Chilford Hall Vineyard is now a prime visitor attraction, producing more than 18,000 bottles of still and sparkling wine each year.

All of the wines produced on the estate are made exclusively from the grapes grown and harvested here in any given year. This means that each year the wines we produce have a slightly different blend and taste making it a unique drinking experience from one vintage to the next.


The estate produces high quality red, white, rosé and sparkling wines which have won numerous awards and accolades over recent years.


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