The Assistant Winemaker position is responsible for facilitating effective and streamlined communication among the winemakers, cellar master, and cellar staff. The Assistant Winemaker will ensure accuracy of work being performed for clients, as well as maintain efficient and accurate workflow of day-to-day operations. The Assistant Winemaker is expected to anticipate and identify any issues that may disrupt work order execution and bring those issues to the attention of the winemaking team or cellar master for resolution. This position reports to the winemakers.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Cellar Operations (~30%)
• Facilitate regular discussions with winemakers to understand the winemaking protocols and operating requirements. Maintain clear records of the performance benchmarks of each client.
• Work with the Cellar Master to ensure that work orders and client requests are being executed in a timely manner and in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and written protocols.
• Report safety, process and/or equipment concerns to winemakers so that repair, replacement and training can be facilitated promptly.
• Perform regular wine quality checks, including monitoring chilling and heating of tanks to ensure that thermostats are correctly set and wine temperature is maintained or achieved, tasting wine with clients when the client’s winemaker is not available, checking inventory for potential issues such as storage container leakage, damaged equipment, safety matters, etc.
• Inform winemakers of any observed compliance issues regarding OSHA requirements.
• Fill in as needed in the cellar; reducing the voids in key cellar staff positions while other cellar managers are busy with multi-tasking projects.
• Help identify new techniques to improve wine quality and cellar practices within budgeting constraints.
Administrative Duties (~70%)
• Document work orders based on written instructions from winemakers/clients or verbal instructions from winemakers. Ensure deliverables on work orders are clearly communicated in accordance with winery SOPs.
• Create, complete, and enter work orders in winery database system.
• Assist with the successful delivery of all projects to meet and exceed client expectations.
• When authorized by a winemaker, communicate updates to clients on recently completed work orders, client inventories and/or lab analyses. Be clear, timely and friendly!
• Create and document cellar and safety SOPs by collaborating with the winemaking team on content and message of the SOPs.
• Employ “professional skepticism.” This position will regularly “qualify” and “quantify” work orders with winemakers and seek to avoid unnecessary mistakes. This position is expected to regularly “challenge” existing work order procedures if those procedures are causing confusion or unnecessary labor exercises.
• Perform other tasks as requested.
• Assist with annual employee performance pre-reviews for Cellar Level #1, 2, and 3 employees.
• Understanding that client happiness is Job 1!
• Minimum of three (3) years related experience in a winery, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills. Basic math skills are required, must be analytical and organized.
• Ability to RESOLVE problems by communicating potential issues to winemakers after careful determination of the source of the problem. Have an orientation toward listening and observing, as opposed to “jumping to conclusions.”
• Experience with Excel, Word, Outlook, and database systems. Vintrace skills a big plus.
• Quality conscious person.
• Ability to manage competing priorities and demanding workflow.
• Versatility, flexibility, and a willingness to work within constantly changing priorities with enthusiasm.
• Customer service oriented.
Assistant Winemaker position is a full-time salaried exempt position which includes a Competitive Benefits Package Including: Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k, Sick and Vacation Benefits, Paid Holidays and Employee Referral Compensation.