The Winemaker is responsible for all aspects of the winemaking process, from maturity assessment, through maturation, blending of wines and bottling, all while ensuring style, quality, efficiency, and cost parameters are met. They will work closely with the Winemaking Team, as well as cross-functionally across the business to achieve overall business goals. The position requires strong sensory skills and technical expertise, as well as a thorough knowledge of cellar operations and capacity management.
Reasonable Accommodations Statement: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Safety Statement: All employees shall follow safe practices according to the injury and illness Prevention Policy (IIPP), render every possible aid to safe operations, and report all unsafe conditions or practices immediately to any management employee or Human Resources.
Supervisors and Leads are fundamentally responsible for ensuring safety in their own departments and to uphold the following safety standards:
- Demonstrate a positive attitude toward safety
- Ensure work is performed in a safe manner and all safety rules, regulations and instructions are followed
- Report and investigate workplace injuries in a timely manner; identifies ways to eliminate risk of reoccurrence; complete audits; conduct monthly safety meetings and trainings; maintain compliance with hazardous materials program; inform/train new employees on specific safety aspects and procedures with the department and location; participate in monthly management safety meetings
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Works with Grower Relations and Estate Vineyard Teams to source grapes to achieve wine quality and style targets while meeting target Cost of Goods.
- Responsible for developing a working knowledge of program vineyards and assessing maturity to drive picking decisions
- Manages tank allocation of grapes/juice/wine to minimize ullage and to optimize capacity utilization
- Develops winemaking procedures and quality standards to achieve style/quality/cost targets
- Responsible for maintenance/care of wines during maturation to prevent defect and to optimize quality
- Maintains detailed knowledge of wine lots and inventory to manage program allocations and achieve production/quality targets and minimize surplus
- Plans cellar work and work order creation to achieve winemaking goals and to adhere to production timeline
- Responsible for prioritizing cellar work, and for partnering with the Cellar Team to achieve work in quality-focused manner while balancing efficiency goals
- Responsible for all sensory work (vineyard assessment, bench blending, trial work, etc) to optimize wine quality, and to achieve production goals
- Directs research trials as needed to vet new processes and products with an eye on continually improving process/quality
- Makes decisions to ensure the best implementation of the long-term work plan to meet production and bottling schedule
- Ensures wine compliance with all Federal and State regulations and ensures sound record keeping in coordination with the production admin team
- Represents the Winery to internal and external customers, the trade and media as needed, with travel required periodically
- Works with the Brand and Design Team and Public Relations to support the technical side of their work
- Responsible for understanding and complying with applicable quality, environmental and safety regulatory considerations. If accountable for the work of others, responsible for ensuring their understanding and compliance.
- Maintains a strong on-site leadership presence throughout the year and particularly during harvest
- Responsible for mentoring team members across department on winemaking and production topics
- Participates on cross-functional teams for continuous improvement of winemaking/ production processes and procedures
- Represent the company at promotional functions as needed while ensuring that winery needs are being met
- Prepares short- and long-term production plans, grape and bulk wine inventory requirements, annual distribution programs and annual production/inventory plans
- Position has management potential for the following direct reports: junior winemaking staff, lab staff, production admins.
Education/Experience: Bachelors or Masters Degree in Winemaking, Food Science or Related Field
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
- Minimum 5 years Winemakiing Experience
- Proficiency in MS Excel, Word, Teams, Outlook, wine tracking systems
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Strong organizational, problem-solving and analytical skills
- Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to work well in a team
- Good judgement and sound decision-making
- Proven ability to manage multiple projects and to meet dynamic deadlines
- A positive attitude
N (Not Applicable)-Activity is not applicable to this occupation.
O (Occasionally)-Occupation requires this activity up to 33% of the time (0-2.5 + hrs/day)
F (Frequently)-Occupation requires this activity from 33% - 66% of the time (2.5-5.5 + hrs/day)
C (Constantly)-Occupation requires this activity more than 66% of the time (5.5 + hrs/day)
Stand-C, Walk-C, Sit-O, Handling/Fingering-F, Reaching Outward-F, Reaching Above Shoulder-F, Climb-O, Crawl-O, Squat or Kneel-O, Bend-F, Working at the Computer-O
Other Physical Requirements
10 lbs or Less
12 lbs or Less
Vision (Near, Distance)
11 lbs to 20 lbs
13 lbs to 25 lbs
Sense of Sound (i.e. Machinery/Tractor Sounds)
21 lbs to 50 lbs
26 lbs to 40 lbs
Sense of Touch
51 lbs to 100 lbs
41 lbs to 100 lbs
Ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment (steel toe boots, safety glasses)
Over 100 lbs
Over 100 lbs
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
About The Family Coppola
The Family Coppola encompasses all of the things Francis loves most—cinema, wine, food, resorts and adventure—and embraces quality, authenticity and pleasure as a backbone to each of these vibrant business endeavors.
Our people are driven by the cultural values of respect, integrity, innovation, passion, teamwork, and embracing change. Our employees love working here for our sense of “family” community. We’ve been recognized as one of The Best Places to Work in the North Bay multiple years in a row.