Getting a Job in Wine

Posted by Keith Wallace

Want to work in the wine industry? Discover your dream job and how to get it! The wine industry is a big place with career options to suit your biggest dreams: there is something out there for anyone. Keep in mind there are jobs across the country and the world, not just in California.

In The Winery


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

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.
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Vineyard Manager

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

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

  • Pruning and vineyard maintenance
  • 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 and have 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 analyses.
  • 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.

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. Decent wine knowledge is generally a requirement for this position, and the ability to think on your feet, deal efficiently with complaints, and manage staff members.

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 managing the daily opening and closing of the room.

In the Restaurant


The most famous of wine jobs! The primary goal of a sommelier is to provide customers in a restaurant with an excellent 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.

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 wait-staff about the wines.

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.

For those seeking to work with organic or biodynamic wine, this is a key opportunity for natural wine jobs.

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 commission-based mainly, but the average wage 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 the delivery of the wine to the stores is required.
  • Offering promotions and tastings of the wines.

Other 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 entirely on the type of work, place, and frequency of articles.


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

Which Wine Jobs are 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. 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 pretty simple – and in this industry – truly rewarding.

What is the wine job called?

The most popular wine jobs 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 Certificate and the Advanced Winemaking Certificate.

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