James Dodson

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Established in 2006 by James Dodson, Vineworks offers a range of vineyard and wine production services including turnkey establishment of greenfield vineyards to harvesting and maintenance.  

Predominately operatingin the South East, the business has grown with the increase in UK viticulture production and has developed its services to adapt to the needs of vineyard owners.  

Following a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Plumpton College, James recognised the growing demand for UK-produced wine would require a dedicated contractor who could offer solutions which were both task-related, such as pruning and harvesting, alongside consultancyadvice and complete vineyard establishment with the supply of rootstock vines, trellising supplies and vine protection guards.   

VineWorks has evolved into one of the UK’s leading vineyard services company with more than 80 employees, having established more than 300 vineyards, planted in excess of 4.5 million vines and hand-harvested tens of thousands of tons of grapes.

“We believe in the future of the UK wine industry,” says James. “We want to help vineyards become sustainable both financially and environmentally. That’s why we regularly publish articles promoting good viticultural practice, offer training and fund research into UK-specific innovation.”

Continued investment in machinery has improved processes, efficiency and provide more work capability and ultimately, more services to more customers.

“We have also learnt from working with subcontractors using specialist pieces of kit and have sought to ultimately bring some of these operations in-house where possible, the main example of this is our GPS vine planting machine which had a capital cost to the business of £250,000. “It brings cost savings to the business and the customer as well as reliability from not having to be entirely dependent upon the availability of other companies, some of whom are based abroad which has been further complicated by post Brexit regulations.” 

What the Judges said

Vineworks have utilised an opportunity to expand into a growing and buoyant sector of British agriculture and have created a business to deliver the individual contracting needs for their customers. A strong focus on operator safety was evident, with a drive to offer an adaptable and profitable service to a wide range of customer demands.