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Winemaker

Unionville Vineyards

Ringoes, NJ

Winemaker Winemaker

Job Description:

Unionville Vineyards grows 42 acres of vinifera and hybrid wine grapes across 5 different sites in Hunterdon and Mercer Counties, with a focus on Burgundy and Rhone varieties. We farm for quality, with the expressed goal of making the finest wines on the east coast. Unionville has produced the only red wine from New Jersey to score 90 points or better in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Our wines have been served at some of the best restaurants in New Jersey, and the James Beard House in Manhattan. Unionville has been written about in FOOD&WINE, Wine Enthusiast, Harper’s Bazaar, & the Wall Street Journal. We employ sustainable production practices whenever possible, and look at viticulture and winemaking as an annually evolving process. The overarching dream of attaining better quality each year is hand in glove with developing economically and environmentally sustainable practices. Unionville is a solar-powered winery situation on 89 acres of preserved farmland. We believe growing wines in the Amwell Valley and Sourland Mountains affords unique opportunity to showcase wines of place, finesse, and balance.
The Winemaker holds the integral, comprehensive role in Unionville’s quality wine production, supervising each step of the production process from vine to bottle. The Winemaker executes and manages all aspects of winemaking, from harvest crush, to fermentation and maceration, barrel maintenance, blending, and bottling. The Winemaker is both a supervisor and a hands-on teammate within the production operation. The Winemaker works directly with the Vineyard Manager to grow to company-determined yield, ripeness, and quality thresholds for estate wines.
The Winemaker has the following direct responsibilities:
1. Reports directly to the GM
2. Organizes the weekly, monthly, and annual production schedule, produces a published plan for each
3. Interfaces with the Vineyard Manager to inform viticultural practices and harvest decisions based on fruit ripeness parameters. Works with the Vineyard Manager on variety and clonal selection, as well as viticultural practices for wine quality.
4. Manages the staffing, hiring, training and applies the appropriate amount of labor to achieve the short, medium, and long-term goals of the winery. The Winemaker oversees production staff payroll recording and clock in/clock out procedures
5. Maintains and organizes a winery that is sanitary and compliant with all regulatory agencies including OSHA, USDA, DEP, FDA, county, and others.
6. Performs quality control on all aspects of winery work including sanitation and maintenance of related tools and machinery
7. Identifies and presents opportunities to improve grape quality and yield, vineyard efficiency, wine quality, winery efficiency cost-savings opportunities, and sustainability initiatives
8. Manages production and interfaces directly with 3-4 private wine clients each season
9. Interfaces with outside growers and handles logistics related to picking decisions and grape deliveries

The Winemaker has these secondary responsibilities:
1. Participates in winery club events, wine dinners, public events, and interfaces with patrons and consumers sporadically throughout the year
2. Represents the winery in PR opportunities, such as panel discussions, interviews, blog posts, and club communications
3. Occasionally supervises the tasting room
4. Works with the General Manager to complete beverage tax filings
5. Works with the Tasting Room Manager and Sales Rep to train staff on salesmanship and wine knowledge
5. Is central to developing and maintaining a company culture of happiness, camaraderie, and excellence

The Winemaker:
1. Has a working knowledge and relevant winemaking experience with several of these varieties
a. Chardonnay
b. Pinot Noir
c. Syrah
d. Viognier
e. Riesling
f. Cabernet Franc
2. Is excited to make wines consistent with Unionville’s style- acid-driven, balanced, moderate alcohol, food friendly, low oak
3. Has complete mastery of wine chemistry
4 . Is comfortable with a variety of wine styles, including still red, white, and rosé, Port, Petillant-Naturel, and methode champenoise.
5. Is familiar with and can perform maintenance on the bottling line, cross-flow filtration unit, bladder press, pump, forklift, and tractors.
6. Is a leader and a team player who motivates people, rewards hard work and makes adjustments to the team when needed.
8. Is a problem solver who anticipates challenges and issues, finds and applies solutions, and leads the operation in a productive, successful, efficient way.
9. Is a clear communicator with superlative verbal and written communication skills
10. Is timely, clean, and has no drug/alcohol abuse problems
11. Has a valid driver’s license, and can pass a background check with no criminal history or alcohol-related driving incidents

Compensation:
This position offers a benefits package comprised of salary, retirement account, health benefit, professional development stipend, and paid vacation. The total compensation is valued at $78,000. The Winemaker position at Unionville affords growth potential as additional planted acreage begin bearing in the coming year(s). The ideal candidate has a minimum of 5 years production experience with a premium winery, and formal training and education in oenology. They are self-motivated with exemplary ethic, setting the tone for the rest of the workplace. They are constantly driven to improve wine quality vintage after vintage, and thrilled to join a winery seeking to make the finest wines on the east coast.

The winery is located in East Amwell Township, in the southeast corner of Hunterdon County. Residents of the area enjoy a fantastic quality of life with ample downtown, suburban, or rural housing opportunities. The winery is approximately an hour’s drive from Philadelphia and New York City. The area boasts terrific public school districts, outdoor recreation, fine dining, and much more

Additional Information:

Job Posted:
Thursday, February 4th
Type of Work:
Full Time
Job Category:
Salary Information:
78,000

Contact Information:

Unionville Vineyards
John Cifelli