Associate Winemaker/Production Manager Job Opening

WineTalent, an executive search firm focused on the wine industry, is working with our client Oliver Winery to find an Associate Winemaker/Production Manager.  Oliver Winery produces over 340,000 cases of wine annually in our state of the art winery and production facility in Bloomington, Indiana.

Job Description
This is a key position within the winemaking department that is responsible for the day to day operation of production with an understanding of the influences of all processes in winemaking (from growing grapes to delivering the product to the customer). The Associate Winemaker will be responsible for daily cellar operations and coordinating laboratory analysis, as well as performing daily record keeping. This position will be critical in the continued development of winemaking procedures, development of the cellar crew, and safe, efficient operations of the winery all while maintaining absolute standards in winemaking practices to ensure wine of the highest quality is produced.

Job Responsibilities
This position will supervise a winemaking crew of six. The Associate Winemaker will be responsible for training, assigning work orders, providing feedback and organizing appropriate lab work. They will work with the Director of Winemaking in preparing blends, trials, etc. managing all efforts toward ensuring the highest quality wine standards. This position will work with the Director of Winemaking in creating and implementing the winemaking schedules and forecasts. They will also work with the Production Office Manager to maintain proper inventories of dry goods and package materials. Additional duties include but are not limited to:

• Identify aromas and flavors in wines and recommend treatments to improve wine quality through batching and tasting of inventory.
• Ensure production plans and quality parameters are met in terms of bottling, lab analysis follow-up from daily wine work, blending and other cellar operations.
• Oversee cellar process management of grapes, juices and wines including chemical and ingredient additions, racks, transfers, clarification, blends, shipping and final preparation for bottling.
• Conduct fining trials, defect mitigation processes and general wine risk assessments.
• Provide input to long-term work plan when wine work variables pose a change in work plans.
• Work with the Director of Winemaking and Vineyard Manager to make harvest decisions for the grapes received, crushing, pressing and fermentation processes.
• Manage supplies and ingredients, including winemaking supplies.
• Other duties as assigned by Director of Winemaking.

Job Requirements
• A degree in a Science, Fermentation Science, or equivalent.
• At least 5 years of experience in winemaking or the production of other bottled beverages(beers, spirits, juices)
• An understanding of and ability to run machinery such as HPLF, Centrifuge, Bottling Line and other production equipment.
• Experience and interest in management and development of winemaking team.
• Experience presenting information and responding to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers and the general public.
• Experience writing reports, business correspondence and procedure manuals.
• A valid driver’s license and the ability to be insured on company vehicles.
• Ability to use a PC with proficiency in Windows Outlook, Word, and Excel.
• Experience following established procedures to perform tasks that are somewhat difficult in nature, requiring frequent evaluation, originality or ingenuity.
• Passion for wine.
• Willingness to work flexible hours (until the work is done) especially August-November.
• Detail orientation.
• Mechanical inclination.
• Self-motivated with ability and desire to give direction.
• Proven problem solver.

Additional Performance Criteria:
• Ability to perform tasks with thoughtful attention to detail that enhances/ensures wine quality, efficiency, safety, and cost.
• Knowledgeable, self-motivated, and confident.
• Ability to learn new skills and procedures quickly.
• Ability to be organized and complete tasks in a timely manner.
• Ability to prioritize tasks.
• Ability to model the Winery values of being inquisitive, engaged, friendly, hardworking and sincere.
• A solid work ethic, demonstrated by arriving on time, being willing to work until the job is done and doing the right thing.
• Good communication skills, ability to clearly and effectively present information and ideas.
• Flexibility, good observation skills, and be detail orientated.
• Ability to work with minimal supervision.
• Ability to give and accept direction and constructive criticism.

Physical Demands/Work Environment:
This is a physical job in a winery/production setting that will require long periods of standing, walking, lifting, climbing ladders and the ability to observe others and the work environment. Specific vision abilities required by this job include color vision (Judging Wine Color).

While performing the various duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts, high, precarious places, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals and outside weather conditions.

Due to the nature of our business, candidates must be over 21 years of age to apply.

Position is full-time, salaried with benefits. Schedule is typically Monday-Friday but is dependent on time year and work load.

Salary Information: Depends on Experience. Will provide relocation assistance.

Interested candidates should email a resume along to Amy Gardner, President, WineTalent at  

All Inquiries are Confidential.  

To learn more about WineTalent, please visit

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