Rocklands Farm Winery is 34 scenic acres located on a historical property in the Agricultural Reserve of Montgomery County, Maryland, just thirty minutes from Washington DC. Through the practice of holistic agriculture, Rocklands Farm feeds, nourishes, and engages the local community. We are a diverse, working farm producing and connecting customers with our handcrafted wine and pasture-raised meats.
We are seeking a full-time Head Winemaker to join our growing business and be at the forefront of crafting delicious, small-batch wines. Our aim is that fruit, soil, and climate are transparent in the wines as much as possible and thus require a minimal intervention approach in the winemaking.
• Direct winemaking operations from receipt of grapes through to finished wine in the bottle.
• Partner with vineyard team to care for 9 acre estate vineyard from dormancy to harvest. Coordinate with team on major vineyard decisions and harvest timing.
• Coordinate with regional vineyard partners to set parameters for farming practices, major vineyard decisions, harvest timing, and harvest pickup/delivery.
• Team with Rocklands management (CEO, CFO, COO, Business Manager) to create and implement production systems, improve quality of product, and stay within production budget.
• Manage Assistant Winemaker, hourly employees/intern, and vineyard staff.
• Pursue wine quality and process improvement through trials and experimentation
• Propose annual budget and operational procedures for winery and vineyard.
• Regularly engage and educate Rocklands sales staff on wine production and lessons learned.
• Collaborate regularly with local growers/winemakers along with producers outside of the region.
• Stay informed of winemaking trends on the world-stage through tasting and producer visits (portion of budget allocated to this).
o Implement winery SOP’s and improve processes as necessary
o Manage harvest season (late August-early November), including off-site grape pickups and deliveries
o Maintain quality control through laboratory analysis and sanitary practices
o Work with COO to coordinate with vineyard sources in greater Mid-Atlantic to source quality wine grapes
o Creatively make blending and aging decisions and propose to management
o Schedule and coordinate bottlings with management
o Create tasting/production notes for wines as they are released
o Lead customer barrel tastings and other occasional customer facing events (focused heavily in late Fall and Winter)
o Coordinate with Business Manager to report expenses, complete winery sales and production tax paperwork
o Keep proper batch records of wine throughout the aging process
o Assist in maintenance of winery facilities
o Oversee 9 acre vineyard, making strides for biologic practices focused on building soil/vine health
o Ensure timing of vineyard tasks stay on schedule with vineyard team
o Some vineyard work will need to be completed by Winemaker, Assistant Winemaker, and hourly labor (majority of time will be dedicated to winery operations)
o Keep records of vineyard sprays, grape harvests, and location of vineyard blocks
• 3+ years of experience producing wine on a commercial scale
• Experience, passion, and commitment for producing quality wine with “light hand”/minimal intervention approach
• Must possess:
o A positive, team-focused attitude with ability to work long days/weeks when needed with other and alone
o Knowledge of Mid-Atlantic climate and grape varieties
o Knowledge of major wine regions of the world, climates, winemaking styles, and wines
o Ability to lift 50lbs
o High analytical and observation skills
o Keen ability to assess wine on a sensory basis
o Experience operating and maintaining equipment (tractors, wine presses, and grape crushers)
o Desire to share knowledge and educate staff