Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
Job Description – Assistant Winemaker
The Assistant Winemaker (AW) works alongside the Winemaker (WM). It is the AW’s responsibility to oversee and carry out the major physical processes associated with winemaking as well as many of the logistical tasks associated with production as well as manage the winery laboratory. The AW is responsible for coordinating with the Cellar Master (CM) to ensure the completion and quality of all daily and weekly winemaking projects. The AW also oversees the daily organization and sanitation of the winery and acts as a second set of eyes for the WM. As an integral part of the winemaking team, it is the AW’s role to maintain open communication with the rest of the company and encourage a positive, cooperative, and efficient work environment. In addition, the AW should posses a thorough understanding of winemaking techniques and continually work to improve and increase his/her knowledge of this area.
Reports to: Winemaker and General Manager. Coordinates with Cellar Master
Specific Areas of Responsibility:
• Become familiar with all our fruit sources including their location, general history, site characteristics, soil composition and varieties grown.
• Ensure fruit haulers are stocked with harvest supplies (pick sheets, tape, SO2, etc.)
• Organize and maintain picking bin logistics to ensure sufficient numbers of clean bins are ready for transport to the correct vineyards when they are needed for ASV and our clients.
• Planning of fruit receipt logistics in conjunction with the WM and CM.
• Responsible for all pick sheets. Coordinate with the WM and CM to ensure all weigh tags are entered in WMDB. Double check each other so that nothing gets lost along the way.
• Working with the WM, determine weekly schedules for production including management of spatial logistics of tank and floor space based on harvest predictions.
• In the absence of the WM, oversight and implementation of the major day-to-day crush tasks including: Fruit offloading, weighing and completion of weigh tags, bin tagging, destemming, pressing, additions, punch downs, pump-overs, must transfers, cleaning, bin loading on trucks, lees dumping, etc.
• Responsible for lab analysis. Share the load with the WM and cellar staff as needed. Direct sampling and analysis of must and juice throughout fermentation. Train and supervise temporary harvest lab staff.
• Assist WM with keeping accurate records of all wine movements and treatments. Update Vintace on a daily basis whenever possible. Working with the WM, ensure that no data entry is forgotten.
Post Crush and Mid Term Winemaking:
• Manage the day-to-day operation of the winery lab. Ensure that all staff are trained in all analytical procedures. Direct regular sampling and analysis.
• Run SO2 analysis on all lots monthly and adjust as necessary during monthly topping.
• In conjunction with the WM and CM, plan, coordinate, and participate in the day-to-day operations of the cellar.
• Participate in quality control by watching for spoilage and/or flaws and report them to the WM. In consultation with the WM, take appropriate actions to mitigate problems as they arise.
• Coordinate with the WM and the CM to write detailed daily work orders for all wine related activities and update WMDB when they are completed.
• Work with the CM to ensure completion of all wine maintenance, movements, and blends.
• Work with the WM and CM to ensure the winery is clean and organized. No job should be deemed finished until all clean-up is complete and all equipment is put away.
• Share in the maintenance of the facility, work to increase knowledge in the areas of electrical, plumbing and chilling utilities for better cellar efficiency and bring any needed repairs or upgrades to the attention of the WM.
• Work with the WM and CM prior to bottling to ensure wines are ready for bottling; i.e. wines are stable and filtration is complete where warranted, all analysis has been performed and SO2 levels are adjusted to appropriate levels. Ensure appropriate staffing is set up for bottling days.
• Learn to run and maintain the bottling line. Maintain a supply on hand of the most commonly required spare parts. Understand and be capable of the operation, sanitation, and maintenance of the line. Be able to recognize common problems and take appropriate measures to correct them. Supervise the bottling crew and conduct training of new line staff as needed.
• Assist the TR staff with technical questions and conduct trainings as requested.
• Participate in weekly production and monthly staff meetings.
• Meet weekly with the WM to discuss progress, issues, etc.
• Attend regular internal tastings including fining and blending trials, etc.
• Work with all staff to maintain the basics cleanliness of the non-work areas of the facility. Cleaning restrooms and break room. Doing the dishes. Removing waste.
• Pursue academic coursework to increase understanding and knowledge as it pertains to production in general and winemaking specifically.
• Represent the Company periodically at a variety of on and offsite events.