For wine-lovers and connoisseurs who wish to profit from their passion, there are plenty of career opportunities in the wine industry. Wine jobs can range from cellar worker to sommelier to brand manager, with a number of other possible jobs in between. Here is a closer look at some of the many career options in the wine industry.
As brand manager for a winery or vineyard, you would be charged with the development of long-term brand growth plans and annual business plans. You would champion new products through development and work to achieve volume and profit objectives. Brand managers can earn between $80,000 and $100,000 per year.
As a cellar worker, you will get hands-on experience in cellar and harvest operations. You will ensure that wine harvest, cellar and barrel operations comply with all safety and operating procedures. A job in this area requires good people skills and attention to detail.
As a grounds supervisor, you will get the chance to work outside. You may be responsible for plantings, tree trimming and spraying.
Harvest Intern/Cellar Hand
This entry-level position is great if you”re just starting out in the wine industry. Being a harvest intern or cellar hand can give you good experience in winemaking. Interns may do:
- barrel work
- fruit sorting
- lot monitoring
- vineyard and lab analysis.
As a lab technician, you would be charged with monitoring musts and wines for quality. You would also perform, evaluate, identify and maintain microbiological tests. In some cases, lab technicians are also responsible for bottling line quality assurance. Other tasks include obtaining samples, performing chemical analyses and instrumental analyses.
A sommelier is a trained professional with intricate knowledge of various types of wine. At fine restaurants and other high-end establishments, a sommelier is often on hand to answer questions and help patrons select the best wines to pair with their meals. As a sommelier, you should be passionate about guest service, food and wine.
If you are interested in becoming a sommelier you may want to attend sommelier school. Sommelier accreditation programs are offered at schools all over the country. They can be part of an art institute, restaurant school, community college, school of hospitality or just a regular university.
Tasting Room Sales
Working in the tasting room of a winery, you would be responsible for conducting tastings, managing wine sales and leading consumer and trade tours. Wine sales jobs require excellent customer service skills, as well as a thorough knowledge of wine vintages.
Tour guides lead tours at the various estates, vineyards and esteemed wine cellars. Tour guides should be passionate about educating people about the wonders of wine.
Vineyard managers orchestrate a vineyard and farm management plan. In a wine manager job, you would work closely with the winemaker to maximize overall quality. The position may include planning, scheduling, crop load management, harvest coordination and planting.
Some colleges have teaching vineyards. As a viticulture instructor, you would possibly lead the college”s degree program in viticulture, teach courses on viticulture and develop the teaching vineyard. At a job like this, you can earn $52,000 to $64,000 per year.
A wine educator conveys to visitors, VIPs, retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and distributors – in a passionate and intellectually compelling manner – the image, style and values of a certain vineyard. You must possess excellent communication skills, in both writing and speaking, to be a wine educator.