Meet the team
We’d like to introduce the expert team who make up our UK-leading vineyard management company. Their combination of skills, experience, passion and enthusiasm has helped us become the thriving and respected business we are today.
James Dodson – Director
James has always loved digging deeper. It inspired his first career in archaeology and later, while following his passion for great wines, it also inspired a wish to be part of the winemaking industry. While studying for his BSc (Hons) in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College, he worked for various vineyards, and recognised a growing demand for viticultural services to the ever-expanding English wine industry. With the help of a fellow student, he founded Vine-Works in 2006. Four years later, with the business booming, he went into partnership with D’Arcy Gander to form Vine-Works Ltd. These days, rather than digging deeper, James loves flying high and is often to be found paragliding over the Sussex landscape. It is, he says, the perfect way to scope out potential sites!
D’Arcy Gander – Director
D’Arcy’s love of great English wines began while he was running a pub group in the south east. He loved seeing the positive reactions from customers almost as much as enjoying the wines himself. When his son Lydon was born, he decided it was time for a change of career. After graduating, he worked with Nyetimber Vineyards, helping to establish large areas of planting in West Sussex. Like James, he spotted the ever-increasing need for specialist industry support services, and created his own company, Vineyard Care, establishing vineyards in Sussex and Surrey, before co-founding Vine-Works Ltd in 2010. Unlike James, however, D’Arcy prefers keeping his feet on the ground, walking his dogs (and son) over the West Sussex downs.
Chris Buckley – Vineyard Establishment Manager
Chris’s globe-trotting career has seen him working in some of the world’s best-known vineyard regions, including Margaret River in Australia and the Napa Valley in California. These days, however, he’s settled in the south east of England, working as our establishment consultant. Like D’Arcy and James, he’s a BSc Viticulture & Oenology graduate of Plumpton College, and he joined our team after graduating. He’s now been with us for more than five years, and is the person responsible for all our feasibility reports and designs for prospective vineyards. James is also the liaison between suppliers, nurseries and clients, helping to manage every project as smoothly and successfully as possible. He also holds the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma as well as an honours degree in business from Bournemouth University.
Joel Jorgensen – Vineyard Operations Manager
It would be strange if Joel didn’t appreciate great wine, since he was born and bred on his family’s farm and distillery in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. Helping his father from the age of 12, he’s followed a career in viticulture ever since. He studied at the world-renowned University of Stellenbosch, working nights as a sommelier in the Wijn Huis restaurant — serving over 700 different local wines! After graduation, Joel came to the UK to manage organic vineyards, hop gardens and apple orchards. He not only learned about improving soil and sustainable farming practices, he also discovered also how to manage and train people into a happy, productive workforce. Ask him why he swapped sunny skies for England’s unpredictable weather, and he says: “It’s too easy to produce decent grapes back home. I prefer more challenging conditions!”
Cherry Constable – Sales & Marketing
Cherry Constable has worked in the drinks industry for almost a decade with various roles taking her from breweries to wineries and importers before settling down to write about spirits. Growing up in the Sussex countryside, Cherry has witnessed first-hand the exciting expansion of the English Wine industry and loves nothing more than visiting vineyards, meeting the producers and learning their stories.
Cherry has a Diploma in Hospitality and Catering and studied at Plumpton College, gaining both a Diploma in Wine Business and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, (WSET) Diploma. She judges wine and spirits at numerous international competitions, including the International Wine and Spirits Competition, (IWSC) Independent English Wine Awards, (IEWA) and World Gin Awards.
At Vine-Works Ltd, Cherry is responsible for managing the retail side of the business, monitoring stock levels, sourcing products and ensuring all our customers have the correct equipment readily available. She supports the rest of the team with general day-to-day tasks, report writing and has used her writing background to create articles published in Vineyard Magazine.
Sally Crowder – Finance & HR
While most of us here at Vine-Works are out and about, getting our hands well and truly dirty, someone has to be back at base and holding down the fort. That someone is Sally. She’s an administrative whizz, taking care of invoicing, credit control and payroll as well as all the day-to-day tasks involved in running a successful business. She’s also a key player in upholding our commitment to excellent employment ethics, by monitoring our adherence to the guidelines laid down by the Association of Labour Providers and Stronger Together. Sally’s one of the first faces our new workers see, and has a vital role in helping them through the induction period. She also helps us, as a company, to prioritise employee satisfaction, making sure we have a happy, enthusiastic and productive workforce on our side at all times.