Wine Jobs

Posted by Keith Wallace

Want to Work in the Wine Industry? Discover Your Dream Job and How to Get It!

Wine Professions for Everyone

The wine industry offers a myriad of career opportunities to suit your aspirations. There are wine professions for everyone, and it’s not limited to California; opportunities abound nationwide and worldwide.

In the Winery


One of the most coveted positions, a winemaker oversees the entire winemaking process from harvest to bottling. While many wineries prefer candidates with a Master’s in Viticulture and prior wine production experience, some start with less formal qualifications. At a minimum, attend a wine school offering a winemaking certification program. Most wineries prioritize a well-trained palate over specific certifications.

Winemakers can expect an annual salary of around $103,000. Their responsibilities include:

  • Managing relationships with vineyard owners and managers.
  • Monitoring grape ripeness and vine health.
  • Overseeing wine chemistry during crushing.
  • Maintaining FDA and TTB-required records.
Wine Professions: Winemaker

Vineyard Manager

Often overlooked but critical to wine quality, a vineyard manager’s role is on par with a winemaker’s. Quality indicators such as vineyard health, pruning practices, and disease management directly impact grape prices. Vineyards consistently producing high-quality grapes can command prices well above the industry standard.

A vineyard manager can anticipate an annual salary of approximately $85,000. Duties encompass:

  • Pruning and maintaining the vineyard.
  • Managing pest control.
  • Overseeing irrigation systems.
  • Supervising the grape harvest.

Assistant Winemaker

The assistant winemaker supports the winemaker by handling various tasks that demand attention. Most wineries require candidates to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Science and have a refined palate. Many also accept winemaking certificates from reputable wine schools.

Assistant winemakers typically earn $77,000 annually. Responsibilities include:

  • Creating daily work lists and training winemaking staff.
  • Ensuring wine quality and inventory control.
  • Conducting regular lab analyses.
  • Assisting the winemaker throughout the winemaking process.

Cellar Master

Responsible for the cellar’s safety, cleanliness, and overall operations, the cellar master plays a pivotal role. A Bachelor’s degree in winemaking, agriculture, or engineering is typically required, along with prior experience in the position.

Cellar Masters can expect an annual salary of $80,000. Their tasks encompass:

  • Supervising cellar conditions and staff.
  • Scheduling and overseeing cellar maintenance and deep-cleaning.
  • Managing wine transport, shipping, bottling, and storage conditions.

Tasting Room Manager

Tasting room managers oversee daily activities and staff at winery tasting rooms. A solid understanding of wine and the ability to handle customer complaints efficiently and manage staff effectively are generally required.

Tasting room managers typically earn an annual salary of $56,000. Their responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring staff efficiency.
  • Meeting sales targets.
  • Addressing customer complaints.
  • Managing inventory and overseeing daily opening and closing procedures.
Sommelier Holding Wine Glass
Side view portrait of professional sommelier holding wine glass during tasting session, copy space

Wine Professions In the Restaurant


The most renowned wine job, a sommelier’s primary role is to recommend wine pairings for restaurant patrons. Generally, an Advanced Sommelier Certificate is required, along with a discerning palate and the ability to recognize quality wines.

Entry-level sommeliers can expect to earn around $60,000 annually. Responsibilities encompass:

  • Selecting quality wines for the menu.
  • Purchasing wine and managing inventory.
  • Training waitstaff on wine knowledge.

Retail Wine Professions

Wine Shop Manager

A wine shop manager’s position is similar to retail management, with the added dimension of wine. While formal education is not mandatory, having an Advanced Sommelier Certification and previous experience is advisable.

Salary in wine shops varies, with an average of $65,000. Duties include:

  • Inventory management and stock ordering.
  • Assisting customers with purchases.
  • Negotiating with sales representatives.
  • Managing store opening, closing, and cleanliness.

Wine Professions in the Supply Sector

Wine Sales Representative

The role of a wine sales representative is straightforward: selling wine to restaurants and wine shops. Formal education is rarely a requirement, but a Level Three Sommelier certification and a proven sales track record are often necessary.

Salary for sales representatives is typically commission-based, ranging from $35,000 to $190,000 annually. Responsibilities include:

  • Introducing stores to represented wine brands.
  • Following up with existing customers on wine sales.
  • Handling wine deliveries to stores.
  • Offering promotions and wine tastings.

Other Wine Professions

Wine Journalist

Wine journalists typically work on a freelance basis for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Success depends on writing skills, palate, and the frequency and nature of assignments.


Apprenticing as a wine cooper involves hands-on work, crafting the oak barrels used in wine storage. Proficiency in woodworking and physical labor is essential.

Wine Educator

One of the most gratifying of wine professions. Whether you are working for a wine school or running your own wine education company, this is a great job for anyone who loves learning and passing on knowledge.

There are wine professions for many types of people, from sales to those with a knack for wine critique. Assess your current skills, identify the ones needed for your desired job, and take steps to gain the necessary experience. It’s a simple yet highly rewarding industry.

These recommended sommelier levels are tailored to the specific wine professions within the wine industry, providing a suitable foundation for individuals in each position. If you live in Philadelphia or want to take an online wine course, we have you covered. If not, you can check out our competitors over at SOMM.

  1. Winemaker:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 4 (Advanced Sommelier)
    • Explanation: While not directly related to winemaking, an Advanced Sommelier certification can provide valuable wine knowledge and tasting skills that complement a winemaker’s expertise. It can enhance their ability to assess wine quality and make informed decisions during the winemaking process.
  2. Vineyard Manager:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 3 (Sommelier)
    • Explanation: A sommelier certification provides foundational knowledge about wine regions and grape varieties. This can benefit vineyard managers as it helps them understand the characteristics of the grapes they are cultivating.
  3. Assistant Winemaker:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 3 (Sommelier)
    • Explanation: Similar to vineyard managers, assistant winemakers can benefit from a sommelier certification to gain basic wine knowledge, which complements their role in the winemaking process.
  4. Cellar Master:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 1 (Basic Wine Certification)
    • Explanation: An L1 Wine certification provides a solid foundation in wine knowledge, which can be helpful for cellar masters in managing wine inventory and ensuring wine quality in the cellar.
  5. Tasting Room Manager:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 1 (Basic Wine Certification)
    • Explanation: As tasting room managers often interact with customers, understanding wine through an L1 certification can enhance their ability to assist visitors and answer questions.
  6. Sommelier (Restaurant):
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 4 (Advanced Sommelier)
    • Explanation: Advanced Sommelier is an ideal level for restaurant sommeliers as it focuses on wine knowledge, tasting skills, and service. It provides the expertise needed to curate wine lists and assist diners with wine selections.
  7. Wine Shop Manager:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 3 (Sommelier)
    • Explanation: Sommelier certification can help wine shop managers gain foundational wine knowledge, which is valuable for assisting customers with purchases and managing inventory.
  8. Wine Sales Representative:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 1 (Basic Wine Certification)
    • Explanation: L1 wine certification provides a basic understanding of wine, which can be beneficial for wine sales representatives in explaining the characteristics and qualities of the wines they are selling.
  9. Wine Journalist:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 4 (Advanced Sommelier)
    • Explanation: Advanced Sommelier certification offers a deeper understanding of wine, which can be valuable for wine journalists seeking to write more in-depth and expert-level articles about wine.
  10. Cooper:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 1 (Basic Wine Certification)
    • Explanation: L1 wine certification can provide foundational knowledge about wine, which may be useful for coopers in understanding the role of oak barrels in wine
  11. Wine Instructor:
    • Recommended Sommelier Level: Level 3 (Sommelier)
    • Along with the Sommelier certification, you will need your wine educator certification.

What is the wine job called?

The most popular wine professions are sommelier and winemaker, but there are hundreds of different jobs in the wine trade.

How do I get a job working with wine?

The first step toward a wine job is earning a wine certification; even an L1 wine certificate can be enough. Seeking out wine jobs online is a great place to start.

Does the wine industry pay well?

Wine jobs often have excellent pay, but working in wine means you may have more competition for spots.

How do I start a career in winemaking?

To start a winemaking career, one should have earned the Sommelier and Advanced Winemaking certificates.

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