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Seasonal Lab Technician

Wente Family Estates

Livermore, CA

Job Description:

Wente Vineyards has been making exceptional quality wine in the Livermore valley for the last 138 years. We are the oldest, continually operated, family-owned winery in California. Together, we create one of California’s premier wine country destinations and deliver award-winning wines from the Livermore Valley across the nation and internationally.

Wente Vineyards is currently seeking a Seasonal Laboratory Technician to join our team for the 2021 Harvest (July – December). The Seasonal Laboratory Technician will work under the Head of Quality,  and be a valued member of our laboratory team.

All Wente Family Estates Employees:

At WFE, employee performance is measured through the results delivered, as well as your behavior and how results are obtained. Consistent demonstration of our WFE RISE Values (Respect, Integrity, Sustainability & Excellence) are an expectation of all members of our team. As a member of our team, it is an expectation that you will improve the work, which supports the innovation and development of the whole organization.

The winegrowing operation is also driving a quality renaissance initiative through our focus on key priorities, measuring what matters, and the integration of Lean/Shingo principles and this role plays an important role in this initiative.

The Seasonal Laboratory Technician will gain experience in many facets of the winery, including but not limited to:
•  Monitor daily fermentations
•  Collect and prepare juice and wine samples from tanks and barrels for analysis and tasting
•  Perform calibrations on laboratory equipment
•  Accurately perform, document, and interpret routine analysis on juice, must, and wine.
•  Responsible for chemical preparation, including but not limited to: acids, bases, chemical reagents, buffers, and wine standards.
•  Maintain cleanliness of the laboratory
•  Additions to wines including yeast and bacteria inoculations

 Position Summary

The Seasonal Lab Tech conducts and analyzes laboratory/quality control tests according to laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  This position will analyze juices, musts and wines.  This position may conduct validations, experiments, and create new SOPs for the laboratory. This position is expected to be able to operate both independently and as a part of a team.

Essential Functions

Analysis including but not limited to: Brix, pH, TA, Acid adjustment trials, Nitrogen, Ammonia, Potassium, Turbidity, Anthocyanin and Tannin, Cold stability, Heat stability, Sulfur, Alcohol, Malic acid, Residual sugar, Microbial analysis, Microscopy etc. of juices, musts, and wines. 
Recognizes and resolves discrepancies in analysis.
Sample from a multitude of different vessels, and in extreme conditions.
Responsible for proper sample preparation of juices, musts, and wines for analysis.
Follows all SOPs and safety protocols and assist in updates as necessary.
Reports all quality issues to Quality Manager and follows up on action items.
Responsible for data entry and maintenance of lab data files.
Responsible for ensuring all lab equipment has been validated.
Responsible for ensuring all lab equipment has passed calibration and daily verification checks.
Responsible for maintaining equipment.
Responsible for maintaining a clean and tidy working environment.
Assist in data tracking during harvest.
Assist in analysis scheduling.
Communicate clearly with coworkers and coordinate work across different departments.
Assists in chemical preparation and maintains proper inventory in the lab of all supplies.
Assists in generating lab reports for winemaking.
Cross train with other departments and fills in when necessary.


Physical Demands/Qualifications

Must be able to ascend/descend ladders and stairs.
Ability to work outside, in all types of weather conditions, on uneven surfaces, and must feel comfortable with heights.
Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs.
Requires the ability to remain in a stationary position for long periods of time throughout the workday.
Manual dexterity and the ability to operate a computer for long periods of time without experiencing abnormal hand, wrist, or eye strain.
Must have good communication skills in person, on the telephone, and mobile phone.
Must have coordination sufficient to operate various office machines.
Non-Physical Demands/Qualifications

This is a seasonal full-time position. Successful candidates must have a flexible
             schedule and be able to work extended hours 6-7 days per week from mid-July to

             mid-December.   

A degree/field of study in Wine, Enology, Viticulture, or related field or an equivalent
level of relevant experience preferred.

Previous winery or harvest experience preferred.
Detail oriented, strong organization skills required.
Promotes a culture of safety and practice safety in everything they do.
Must be willing to work flexible, long, and varying hours.
Intimate knowledge of analyses and equipment. Ability to recognize potential problems.

Environmental Conditions:
May be subject to working with a variety of chemicals.
Will be subjected to working long hours during harvest.
Will have some work outdoors and subjected to a wide range of weather conditions.

Sustainability Contribution

Supports economic sustainability by performing critical tests on the product to ensure high quality wines.

Supports environmentally sustainability by conserving natural resources as well as limiting the use of hazardous chemicals and properly disposing of waste.

Additional Information:

Job Posted:
Thursday, April 22nd
Type of Work:
Harvest Help