Rooted in rebellion. Commitment to regenerate.
Fetzer Vineyards is the America’s largest winery certified as a B Corporation and the recipient of a United Nations Momentum for Change award for global leadership in climate-smart winegrowing. A wine industry leader in using business as a force for good, Fetzer Vineyards stewards an award-winning portfolio of multi-origin wines and spirits that are available in more than 50 countries worldwide. Founded by Barney Fetzer in Mendocino County, California, in 1968, Fetzer Vineyards today remains driven by excellence, innovation and longstanding commitments to the environment, regenerative agriculture, and responsible business practices.
In addition to robust offerings under the winery’s flagship Fetzer label, the winery also crafts the leading wine from organic grapes, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2016. Other California offerings include Anthony’s Hill, Relay, Fringe Collective, and 1000 Stories, the original Bourbon barrel-aged wine. Part of global winery Viña Concha y Toro, Fetzer Vineyards imports iconic South American selections from Chile and Argentina.
As grower relations manager, you will be responsible for sourcing quality grapes, scouting/monitoring, harvest sampling and scheduling harvest of external vineyards for our brands: Bonterra, 1000 Stories and Fetzer. Your primary geographic focus will be both the Interior Valley—San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Madera and Fresno counties—and Central Coast—Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. There will be occasional travel to North Coast, Mendocino County.
This position provides autonomy as you will work remotely and travel within the assigned territory. Company vehicle is provided and the ideal candidate will be based in the greater Lodi area with secondary preference to those located in the Central Coast.
• Source quality grapes and manage relationship with current and potential wine grape suppliers
• Providing intelligence and guidance on market conditions and wine grape supply to senior decision makers
• Develop an in depth understanding of viticultural nuances of the respective regions
• Scouting/monitoring for pests and diseases throughout all external vineyards within the territory
• Weekly reporting of growth stage, insect and disease pressures and any pertinent information gained from the field to director of grower relations
• Conduct crop estimates throughout the season for utilization within winery capacity logistics
• Create and maintain vineyard maps
• Harvest sampling and scheduling of fruit to multiple winery facilities
Viticulture, Technical and Business Relations – 65%
• Develop strong business and professional relationships with contracted winegrowers and develop relationships with potential growers
• Initiate and advance negotiations under guidelines set by the director of grower relations. Support the grower relations director and the grower relations specialist in the production, delivery, and management of contracts, written grower communications, and accounting documents
• Develop an in depth understanding of the viticultural nuances of assigned regions, including aspects of climate and soil and a knowledge of winegrower reputation, affiliations, and attitude. Stay educated on the latest viticultural techniques, organic practices and industry developments
• Promote improved wine grape quality through frequent vineyard visits and knowledge sharing. Monitor and document grower practices and grapevine phenology and advise growers on best winegrowing practices through farm plans
Crop Estimation – 15%
• Collect field data necessary to estimate annual and future yields in contracted vineyards; develop block yield estimates and provide data to grower relations specialist, vineyard managers and management. Manage a database of past estimates and actuals, and component data
• Continually gather and supply up-to-date information on regional crop size and condition
Harvest Management – 20%
• Work with grower relations and winemaking staff to plan and execute harvest logistics to ensure timely delivery of grapes of the proper quality and quantity. During harvest, take sugar samples and monitor grape maturity in the assigned regions providing information and feedback to winemakers, grower relations department and growers. Hire and supervise seasonal vit techs (sugar samplers)
• Support winemaking staff in scheduling of harvest for contract growers; provide timely block ripeness and condition assessments; supervise seasonal harvest staff. Manage grower contractual obligations such as contract maximum tons, quality assessments, delivery requirements, etc.
• Coordinate and communicate harvest schedule with growers and winemaking staff to ensure all internal partners are current
• A Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture, Enology, Plant Science or related field plus a minimum of five years prior viticulture or vineyard management experience or equivalent education/experience combination.
• Experience or an interest in organic and biodynamic farming practices
• Regional knowledge of soils, climates and farming issues
• Excellent knowledge of viticulture and a general knowledge of winemaking practices and cycles
• Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Ability to present to a group of people
• Ability to prioritize and manage multiple project. Effective time management skills
• A Valid CDL – this position will require extensive travel by car throughout the assigned regions including some overnight travel to the Central Coast and North Coast areas
Fetzer Vineyards’ corporate office is located at 12901 Old River Rd Hopland, CA 95449. California winery operation includes Mendocino County winery, production and over 1000 acres of vineyard locations.