Red, Wine & Brew Seeks Wine Supervisor

Red, Wine & Brew is currently looking for a full-time Wine Supervisor at the Chesterland location.

Qualifications:
• Strong knowledge of fine wines with a willingness to learn more
• Excellent communication skills
• Organizational, presentational and analytical skills
• Professional and self motivated
• On-premise sales experience
• Reliable with a goal driven personality
• High attention to details and ability to multitask

Potential candidates will be working with the wine assistant or retail associate with day to day operations including but not limited to:
• Budgeting, purchasing and monitoring wine inventory
• Planning, coordinating and hosting in-house wine tasting events
• Overseeing logistical day-to-day operations including stocking and putting away deliveries
• Assisting with Wedding and Special Event wine ordering and delivery
• Attending trade events and wine tastings
• Developing and implementing sales strategies, including educating and guiding other staff members

Compensation Package:
• +/- $14 to $18 per hour (negotiable)
• In-store discounts
• Sales incentives
• Paid vacation
• Room for advancement within Company structure

We are also welcoming applications for the following full-time and part-time opportunities at our store:
– Customer Service Associate
– Tobacco Supervisor

For consideration please send a resume to the store email address (wine@rwbchesterland.com) with references attached or stop by the store to fill out an application.

Salary: $14.00 /hour
Required experience: Retail: 1 year

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Paid Harvest Opportunities: Gervasi Vineyard

Gervasi Vineyard (Canton, Ohio) is recruiting paid harvest workers for the 2015 season. Previous vineyard or harvest experience preferred but not required.

They are anticipating approximately six larger harvest days, late August through late September. Harvest days are generally set two to three days in advance, so harvest workers will need to be available on relatively short notice. E-mail / text blasts will go out as soon as the dates are set.

For more information, or to be put on the harvest announcement list, please contact Vineyard Manager Brian Gregory at bgregory@gervasivineyard.com

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Meadery Seeks Bottling Line Help

Crafted Artisan Meadery, near Akron, OH, has openings for part time bottling line positions. For more information, please call Kent Waldeck at 330 -618-5050.

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Winemaking Technician and Cellar Assistant Needed at Greendance Winery

Greendance Winery, located near Mount Pleasant, PA, is hiring for the position of Winemaking Technician and Cellar Assistant. For more information, please contact:

Susan Lynn, partner Greendance
306 Deer Field Road
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666
sllynn@greendancewinery.com

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Marquette: Fresh Air from the North

It’s another guest post from Andy Kirk, a MSc (Horticulture) candidate at Lincoln University in New Zealand and alumnus of The Ohio State University! Having grown up in Akron and Canton, he worked under the employ of Arnie Esterer at Markko Vineyard in Conneaut for much of 2011 and 2012. He enjoys New Zealand, but often finds himself relating his viticulture and enology learnings back to the shores of Lake Erie. Many thanks to Andy, and for you, dear readers, enjoy! 


Foreword

The facts are in front of us. As long as the Lake Erie Viticulture Area remains a continental climate with no mountain range to the north and a lake that freezes over, there will always be the risk of unmitigated polar air descending in the winter months. That said, the wine glass is half full, in this humble author’s opinion. While the rest of the world is stuck in the Middle Ages, arguing over whose varietiy is the most “noble”, open-minded regional wine industries like ours could be transforming the world of wine as we know it. The human race has come a long way since the 1300s, when Pinot Noir arrived on the scene. Maybe it’s time for our list of culturally acceptable wine grapes to catch up.


 

It seems that often the same people who call for the elimination of agricultural chemicals will turn their nose up at the very mention of a hybrid grape? This might actually be an attainable goal with newly emerging varieties! Furthermore, if wine is to express a sense of place, why should developing regions be shackled by a list of ten or so grape varieties, most of whom share a parent? Observationally, the wine market in Northeast Ohio has proven very receptive over the years to unorthodox varieties and blends. Perhaps we can utilize this lack of pretentiousness to build a hybrid wine industry that is unique and sustainable. To do that, it is important to address, head on, some of the challenges that are unique to hybrid winemaking. This article will attempt to discuss some of these issues, through the lens of an emerging variety from the University of Minnesota.

Marquette grapes from ZbyszekB via WikiMedia Commons

Marquette grapes from ZbyszekB via WikiMedia Commons

Introduction to Marquette

With some highly necessary reflection out of the way, it is time to acquaint ourselves with a potential new best friend of the Ohio wine industry, Marquette. Every revolution needs a hero and, in our case, that distinction may belong to Elmer Swenson, a Wisconsin dairy farmer who, every spring in his “free time”, developed genetic crosses of local grapevines. To skip ahead a few chapters, his work was eventually noticed and continued by researchers at the University of Minnesota, where it importantly received both publicity and resources. (Marshall 2013) One of their first commercially successful crosses, Frontenac, happened in 1978 and has since become one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the Upper Midwest, Northeast, and Quebec. Several decades after that cross, the research center struck gold again in 1994 with Marquette, which is effectively a grandchild of Pinot Noir with additional Vitis Riparia genetic influence.  Marquette became commercially available in 2006, and by many accounts, now represents the gold standard in cold-hardy red wine grapes. Marquette is known to withstand winter lows of -20 degrees farehnheit (-29 celsius) or lower, and has a relatively low level of susceptibility to powdery mildew, downy mildew, bunch rot, and black rot. (Smiley 2008)

If you’re not careful, your wine could end up tasting like these! From Dan Klimke on Flickr CC

If you’re not careful, your wine could end up tasting like these!
From Dan Klimke on Flickr CC

Principle Winemaking Challenges & Solutions

Acid Structure

If you happen to be new to the world of hybrid red wines, you might as well dust off your puckering face. While there are certainly exceptions, the trend towards high acidity seen in many hybrids is probably the primary obstacle in the way of widespread acceptance. The crux of the issue is that the grapes accumulate sugar faster than they lose said acidity. According to the “Marquette Enology” information provided by the University of Minnesota, Marquette was harvested in their vineyard at average Brix,TA, and pH levels of 25.7°, 12.3 g/l, and 2.9 pH respectively, over three years. These numbers should illustrate the problem pretty clearly. There is an ongoing risk of an end product that is extremely high in alcohol, yet unpleasantly tart. As a reference point here, it is generally accepted that red winegrape TA and pH should fall in the ranges of 6-8 g/l and 3.4.-3.5 pH. (Amerine 1980)

One strategy: maximize sunlight into your canopy to promote malic acid degradation.

One strategy: maximize sunlight into your canopy to promote malic acid degradation.

However, not all acids are created equal. For our purposes, Tartaric Acid and Malic Acid are the two primary grape acids of interest. Unlike their pure-bred Vitis Vinifera cousins, Vitis Riparia-based hybrids like Marquette often have more Malic Acid than Tartaric Acid. That said, these inter-specific hybrids have a lot of tartaric acid, too. They just have a lot of acid, really. A recent trial with Marquette in Iowa reported Malic and Tartaric acid levels of between 5-6 g/L and 4-5 g/L, respectively, with Brix levels between 23-24°. (Vos 2014) If those seem more reasonable than the numbers reported from the University of Minnesota research station, it would still be a stretch to call them ideal for winemaking. With that in mind, what are some of the ways in which Ohio growers might try to solve this problem?

The first solution is sort of a “freebee”. The growing conditions at the University of Minnesota, which reported the troublingly imbalanced numbers seen in the first paragraph of this section, are reasonably different to those conditions in Northeast Ohio.  We know that the degradation of malic acid through respiration in grapes is largely a function of temperature, although it is a somewhat complex function. (Coombe 1992) From May to September, the average highs and average lows in Cleveland are consistently higher than in Chaska, Minnesota, the nearest town to the university of Minnesota Horticulture Research Center. The difference is particularly noticeable in September, where the average low in Chaska is a whole seven degrees Fahrenheit lower than in Cleveland. The point is that over the crucial ripening months, temperatures in the Lake Erie growing region will generally encourage lower levels of malic acid in the grapes. Perhaps someone has some more direct insight here?

Thank Lake Erie, in part, for our warmer September temperatures!

Thank Lake Erie, in part, for our warmer September temperatures!

In cool and cold climate viticulture, canopy management is one of the tools available to address the challenges presented by less than ideal conditions. While canopy management is an incredibly broad topic, here we are particularly interested in the practice of pulling leaves and lateral shoots in the fruiting zone, in order to increase sun exposure and raise the temperature of the berries. According to Smart and Robinson, the rate of respiration in the berries doubles for every 10 degrees Celsius increase in temperature. (Smart and Robinson 1991) As noted before, an increased rate of respiration corresponds to more degradation of malic acid. This relationship has been widely observed with Vitis Vinifera (Jackson and Lombard 1993, Kliewer et al. 1967, Reynolds et al. 1986), but the jury is still out with regards to its effectiveness on Marquette malic acid levels. A recent study from Iowa State University has found shoot thinning to be an effective means of reducing malic acid in Marquette, albeit at the cost of some amount of yield. (Rolfes 2014) As it stands now though, there does not appear to be any information available regarding the effectiveness of leaf pulling, by itself, in reducing malic acid in Marquette. That said, the principle behind the practice is sound and well-proven in other varieties.

With the weather being the weather, we must look at other ways to address the problem of acidity in Marquette. Again, here, the relatively high concentration of malic acid is critically important. If you are reading this you probably do not need to be told that Malolactic fermentation is the conversion of malic acid to the weaker lactic acid, by malolactic bacteria. (Davis et al. 1985) The fact that we are working with high malic acid and not tartaric acid means that there is some potential to alleviate our acid problem with malolactic fermentation. Anecdotally, some producers are having to use reasonably high-performance bacteria strains to start things off, given the sometimes low pH and high alcohol. While this seems to be a great option to reduce malic acid, it’s worth considering the unintended consequences. Potential bi-products of malolactic fermentation include acetaldehyde, acetic acid, ethanol, diacetyl, and acetoin. Particularly concerning here is Diacetyl, which can lead to a buttered popcorn smell at concentrations between 5-7 mg/L. (Davis et al. 1985) Still, I think I would prefer buttered popcorn to eating an extremely under-ripe apple.

(Note: Chemical deacidification is highly relevant here, but definitely a topic for a different week. For more information, here is a link to a pdf from Domenic Carisetti, via Iowa State University.)

Buttered Popcorn: Great at the movies, but considered a fault in wine! From Len Matthews via Flickr

Buttered Popcorn: Great at the movies, but considered a fault in wine!
From Len Matthews via Flickr

Phenolic Profile

The other major stumbling block on the road to hybrid wine acceptance is the unusual phenolic profile. In laymen’s terms, this phenolic profile is responsible for both the unusual color and the relative lack of astringency, bitterness, and palate weight in hybrid wines. A recent study from Cornell University confirmed that vinifera based wines have on average at least 4 times more tannin than hybrid-based wines. (Springer and Sacks 2014) With regards to the unusual color, many hybrid varieties are capable of producing high anthocyanin concentrations, perhaps as a result of their “wild” pedigree. (Liang et al. 2008, Thimothe et al. 2007) Furthermore, hybrid varieties are noted for high concentrations, as well as unusual configurations, of anthocyanin types not typically seen in vinifera varieties. (Burns et al. 2002, Manns et al. 2013)  The end result of this complex equation is a tendency towards blue and purple hues, rather than the brick red that is typical of many vinifera wines. (Manns et al. 2013) In the interest of sanity, we will leave color alone, and focus on the extraction of tannin and other phenolic compounds responsible for mouthfeel.

Nothing unappetizing about the appearance of this hybrid wine from Missouri! From Maureen Didde via Wikimedia Commons

Nothing unappetizing about the appearance of this hybrid wine from Missouri!
From Maureen Didde via Wikimedia Commons

This brings us to a fascinating winemaking conundrum. Although hybrid wines have been generally proven to have less tannin than vinifera counterparts, similar concentrations have been reported in the skins and seeds of the various species.  (Harbertson et al. 2008, Sun et al. 2011a, Sun et al. 2011b) New research suggests that this is due to binding reactions between hybrid tannin and cell wall proteins, which could potentially limit the amount of extractible tannin in the grapes. To split these bonds and combat this phenomenon, the authors suggest the addition of proteases and pectinases during maceration. It is worth stressing that this is a very new research area that has not fully been explored. (Springer and Sacks 2014)

 

Cornell University has been very active in hybrid wine phenolic research recently. Keep an eye out for new findings! From Stacey Shintani via Flickr

Cornell University has been very active in hybrid wine phenolic research recently. Keep an eye out for new findings!
From Stacey Shintani via Flickr

That said, there is some information about which winemaking techniques result in more extraction of tannin in Marquette and other hybrids.  Interestingly, in a Cornell University trial, Pectinase addition did not have a significant impact on tannin extraction in the must. Nor did cold soak. In fact, “Hot Press” (at 65 degrees Celsius) was the treatment that had the greatest effect on tannin extraction in musts. Even these gains were short lived though, as the tannin level in the finished wines showed little improvement over the control. This suggests that the retention of tannins is more a product of fermentation conditions, rather than the initial level of tannin extraction in the must. (Manns et al. 2013)

On that note, one thing we know for sure is that the degree of polymerization in wine phenols has a huge impact on the sensory characteristics of a wine, as well as the potential for color stability. (Kennedy et al. 2006) Across the board, in the above referenced Cornell study, the hybrid varieties demonstrated a relatively low propensity to polymerize. (Manns et al. 2013) Those authors reported a mean degree of polymerization (mDP) of 3.22 for Marquette, which would stack up similarly to reported values for (surprise) Pinot Noir (del Rio and Kennedy 2006), but would be roughly a fourth of those reported for a tannic wine like Tempranillo (Monagas et al. 2003). As a quick reminder, a low degree of polymerization would suggest less astringent, but potentially bitter tannin. (Peleg et al. 1998)

To sum it all up, we need to pull out all the winemaking tricks in order to make a Marquette wine with adequate tannin levels and composition. Conceptually, it might pay to break this down into three steps that would require our undivided attention:

  1. Maximize the level of tannin extraction in the must (enzymes, thermovinification, saignée, must freezing)
  2. Create fermentation conditions that favor the retention of phenols (temperature, extended skin contact, pump-overs, punch downs)
  3. Encourage the formation of tannin polymers (tannin additions, barrel aging, oak additions, micro-oxygenation, adequate initial levels of monomeric flavonoids and anthocyanin)

(Without a doubt, each one of these steps deserves an article in its own right. Check out “A Review of the Effect of Winemaking Techniques on Phenolic Extraction in Red Wines” by Sacchi et Al. (2006) for a good place to start)

A Few Parting Words

As you can see, the challenges in red hybrid winemaking are very real. Somehow, though, it feels like the good fight. While Marquette is just one of many varieties available, it shows a lot of promise. After many hours of research, there seems to be a general sense among Marquette winemakers that, at the very least, it gives you something manageable and rewarding to work with in the winery. Will it ever receive a 96 from Wine Spectator like its hybrid cousin (fascinating….they appear to have removed the rating!), Landot Noir? Maybe not. However, from a viticulture standpoint, it is a rock star, showing outstanding cold tolerance and disease resistance. If perhaps Marquette is not the “chosen one” to lead hybrid winemaking to the Promised Land, it is certainly a step in the right direction.


References

Amerine, M.A. 1980. The technology of wine making.
Burns, J., W. Mullen, N. Landrault, P.-L. Teissedre, M.E. Lean, and A. Crozier. 2002. Variations in the profile and content of anthocyanins in wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and hybrid grapes. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 50:4096-4102.
Coombe, B. 1992. Research on development and ripening of the grape berry. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 43:101-110.
Davis, C., D. Wibowo, R. Eschenbruch, T. Lee, and G. Fleet. 1985. Practical implications of malolactic fermentation: a review. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 36:290-301.
del Rio, J.L.P., and J.A. Kennedy. 2006. Development of proanthocyanidins in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Pinot noir grapes and extraction into wine. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 57:125-132.
Harbertson, J.F., R.E. Hodgins, L.N. Thurston, L.J. Schaffer, M.S. Reid, J.L. Landon, C.F. Ross, and D.O. Adams. 2008. Variability of tannin concentration in red wines. American journal of enology and viticulture 59:210-214.
Jackson, D., and P. Lombard. 1993. Environmental and management practices affecting grape composition and wine quality-a review. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 44:409-430.
Kennedy, J.A., C. Saucier, and Y. Glories. 2006. Grape and wine phenolics: history and perspective. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 57:239-248.
Kliewer, W.M., L. Howarth, and M. Omori. 1967. Concentrations of tartaric acid and malic acids and their salts in Vitis vinifera grapes. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 18:42-54.
Liang, Z., B. Wu, P. Fan, C. Yang, W. Duan, X. Zheng, C. Liu, and S. Li. 2008. Anthocyanin composition and content in grape berry skin in Vitis germplasm. Food Chemistry 111:837-844 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.04.069.
Manns, D.C., C.T.M. Coquard Lenerz, and A.K. Mansfield. 2013. Impact of Processing Parameters on the Phenolic Profile of Wines Produced from Hybrid Red Grapes Maréchal Foch, Corot noir, and Marquette. Journal of Food Science 78:C696-C702 doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12108.
Marshall, J. 2013. Northern Hybrids-A new class of grapes. In Midwest Wine Press. WordPress
Monagas, M., C. Gómez-Cordovés, B. Bartolomé, O. Laureano, and J.M. Ricardo da Silva. 2003. Monomeric, oligomeric, and polymeric flavan-3-ol composition of wines and grapes from Vitis vinifera L. Cv. Graciano, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51:6475-6481.
Peleg, H., K.K. Bodine, and A.C. Noble. 1998. The influence of acid on astringency of alum and phenolic compounds. Chemical senses 23:371-378.
Reynolds, A., R. Pool, and L. MATPICK. 1986. Influence oî cluster exposure on fruit composition and wine quality oî Seyval blanc grapes. Vitis 25:85-95.
Rolfes, D.P. 2014. The effects of canopy management practices on fruit quality of northern-hardy interspecific hybrids of Vitis spp.
Smart, R., and M. Robinson. 1991. Sunlight into wine: a handbook for winegrape canopy management. Winetitles
Smiley, L. 2008. Marquette. Iowa State University, Iowa State University.
Springer, L.F., and G.L. Sacks. 2014. Protein-Precipitable Tannin in Wines from Vitis vinifera and Interspecific Hybrid Grapes (Vitis ssp.): Differences in Concentration, Extractability, and Cell Wall Binding. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 62:7515-7523.
Sun, Q., G. Sacks, S. Lerch, and J.E.V. Heuvel. 2011a. Impact of shoot thinning and harvest date on yield components, fruit composition, and wine quality of Marechal Foch. American journal of enology and viticulture 62:32-41.
Sun, Q., G.L. Sacks, S.D. Lerch, and J.E.V. Heuvel. 2011b. Impact of shoot and cluster thinning on yield, fruit composition, and wine quality of Corot noir. American journal of enology and viticulture ajev. 2011.11029.
Thimothe, J., I.A. Bonsi, O.I. Padilla-Zakour, and H. Koo. 2007. Chemical Characterization of Red Wine Grape (Vitis vinifera and Vitis Interspecific Hybrids) and Pomace Phenolic Extracts and Their Biological Activity against Streptococcus mutans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 55:10200-10207 doi: 10.1021/jf0722405.
Vos, R. 2014. Stage of maturation, crop load, and shoot density affect the fruit quality of cold-hardy grape cultivars.
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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 amy@winetalent.net  

All Inquiries are Confidential.  

To learn more about WineTalent, please visit www.winetalent.net

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Vineyard Help Needed at Laurentia Winery

Laurentia Winery in Madison, OH is in need of vineyard help. Part and full time positions are available. For more information, please contact Leonard at:

Laurentia Winery
6869 River Rd.
Madison, OH 44057
440-296-9170

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