Home » Wine Reviews and Articles » Getting a Job in the Wine Business

Getting a Job in the Wine Business

Posted by on August 23rd

Upcoming Wine TastingsWine CoursesA Fun Sommelier Test

The wine industry is a big place with career options to suit many people, from producing wine to selling the wine. There is something out there for anyone. We have compiled the most common wine jobs here.

winery

In The Winery

Winemaker

One of the ultimate wine jobs. A winemaker is responsible for the entire process, from harvest through to bottling.

Most wineries require a Master’s in Viticulture and previous experience in wine production, although some winemakers begin with much less. At the very least, attend a wine school that offers a winemaking certification program. Most wineries are less concerned about what type of certification you have but that the candidate has a well-trained palate.

Close up of man in apron holding glass of alcoholic drink while standing in wine cellar

A winemaker could expect to make around $93,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Managing relationships with vineyard owners and managers.
  • Monitoring ripeness levels of grapes and overall health of vines.
  • Managing wine chemistry during crush.
  • Maintaining all records required by the FDA and TTB.

Vineyard Manager

Often overlooked, the vineyard manager is as important as the winemaker when it comes to the quality of the final product. The health of the vineyard, pruning protocols, and disease management are key quality indicators. This is evident in the price of grapes: vineyards that consistently produce high-quality grapes can demand prices more than double the industry standard.

Farmer picking up the grapes during harvesting time. Young man harvesting grapes in vineyard. Worker cutting grapes by hands.

A winemaker could expect to make around $75,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Pruning and vineyard maintanence
  • Pest management
  • Irrigation systems
  • Grape Harvest

Assistant Winemaker

The assistant is the right hand of the winemaker, overseeing the smaller jobs the winemaker doesn’t have time to attend to. Generally, most wineries require Bachelors’s in Science as well as having a well-trained palate. Many wineries also accept a winemaking certificate from a qualified wine school.

An assistant winemaker could expect to earn $67,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Create daily work lists and train all winemaking staff.
  • Monitor and uphold quality control of the wine and inventory.
  • Conduct regular lab analysis.
  • Help the winemaker monitor the wine throughout the process.

Cellar Master

A Cellar Master is in charge of the cellar’s health, safety, cleanliness, and everyone involved. General requirements: Generally, most wineries require a Bachelor of Science in winemaking, agriculture, or engineering – and almost always require previous experience in the position.

Two staff talking in a modern winemaking factory, close up

A Cellar Master could expect to earn $40,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Supervise the health and cleanliness of the cellars and staff.
  • Schedule and monitor maintenance and deep-cleaning of the cellar.
  • Manage the transport and shipping of the wine; and the conditions of the bottling and storage.

Tasting Room Manager

Managers are in charge of overseeing day-to-day activities and staff members in the tasting room. For this position, good wine knowledge is generally a requirement – as well as the ability to think on your feet, deal efficiently with complaints, and managing staff members.

wine tasting room

A Tasting Room Manager could expect to earn $36,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Ensuring staff is working effectively.
  • Ensuring target sales are made.
  • Dealing with any complaints.
  • Controlling stock and inventory and manage the daily opening and closing of the room.
wine jobs: restaurant

In the Restaurant

Sommelier

The primary job is to provide customers in a restaurant with a great recommendation of wine to be enjoyed with their meal. General requirements: Generally, an Advanced Sommelier Certificate is required to apply for this job, and a great palate and the ability to recognize quality wine.

Young elegant sommelier tasting red wine from one of glasses to check its quality and flavor

A qualified, entry-level Sommelier could expect to make around $60,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Selecting a quality wine for the menu.
  • Purchasing wine and managing the inventory.
  • Training and informing waiting-staff about the wines.
wine jobs: wine shop

In the Wine Shop

Wine Shop Manager

A position as a wine shop manager is very similar to any retail management position, with the added benefit of booze. Usually, No formal education is required, but an Advanced Sommelier Certification and previous experience would be advised.

Side view portrait of contemporary man selling wine to woman in shop

Estimated salary: Some wine stores are commission-based, but the average salary is $45,000. The job includes the following:

  • Keep control of inventory and order stock as needed.
  • Assist customers with purchases.
  • Negotiate and discuss any new wines or promotions for the store with Sales Reps.
  • Opening and closing of the store – as well as the general cleaning.

The Wine Supply Sector

Wine Sales Representative

A sales representative’s job is simple: sell wine to restaurants and wine shops. Formal education is rarely required. However, a Level Three Sommelier certification and previous experience with a stable track record in sales are often necessary.

Estimated salary: A sales rep’s salary is largely commission-based, but the average salary will range from $35,000 to $100,000 annually. The job includes the following:

  • Introducing stores to the brands of wine the rep represents.
  • Following up on existing customers about the wine sales.
  • Often times the delivery of the wine to the stores is required.
  • Offering promotions and tastings of the wines.

Other Wine Jobs

Wine Journalist

A wine journalist’s job is typically freelance work for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A keen eye for prose and a great palate are the industry standards. The amount of money earned depends completely on the type of work, place, and frequency of articles.

Young woman sitting on floor near glass of wine and open planner and browsing laptop while working on remote project at home

 Cooper

For those who prefer a hands-on career, apprenticing as a wine cooper may be a smart goal. Coopers make the oak barrels used in wine storage. Therefore, an intense understanding of woodwork – and the ability to do physical labor is essential.

wine jobs: cooperage

What Wine Job is for You?

So, whether you have a way of persuading people to purchase wine or have a skill in reviewing wine, the wine industry has endless opportunities waiting. Just consider your current skills, the skills you need to get the job you want, and do what you need to gain that experience!
It’s quite simple – and in this industry – truly rewarding.

2 thoughts on “Getting a Job in the Wine Business”

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00