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Jobs at Benchmark Consulting

Assistant Winemaker - Epoch Estate Wines

Location: Paso Robles

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Manager/Supervisor


Through carefully managed, non-invasive farming, we aim to bring the complex character of our vineyards and their terroir into each bottle of Epoch Estate Wine.  All of our fruit is estate, coming from two specific and unique sites which we purchased and planted: Paderewski Vineyard and Catapult Vineyard.

For more information about Benchmark Consulting or to apply, please visit www.benchmarkhr.com. 


This Assistant Winemaker position provides direct support to the Winemaker in all aspects of the winemaking process.

This new winemaking position offers the opportunity to help boost the company’s premium wine label, with a focus on Rhone varietals.  The Assistant Winemaker is responsible for daily interface with the laboratory, cellar and to provide technical guidance and assure that all aspects of production are being accomplished consistent with the quality, stylistic and procedural guidelines as articulated by the Winemaker. The Assistant Winemaker will work closely with blends, conduct cellar work, lab analysis, and participate in experiments.

The Assistant Winemaker (AW) must also bring enthusiasm, imagination and creativity to the job.  To do this, the AW will need to continually be attentive to the general world of wine and identify elements that are relevant and useful. The AW should participate in outside tasting groups and technical affiliations for the purpose of maintaining contact with new ideas and processes


The Assistant Winemaker reports directly to the Winemaker.


This position is located in Paso Robles, California.


Winemaking Responsibilities:


During harvest, the Assistant Winemaker’s main responsibility will be to work directly with the Winemaker and Cellarmaster to manage the crush and fermentation activities in the cellar and barrel room. As well as initiate and manage the Intern Program.

Manage the daily crushing/draining and racking schedule based on the Winemaker’s work orders.

During crush, keep detailed information about each wine, write technical sheets about each wines for website using the following information; Gallons pressed, details of all wines blended together at time of crush, lost wine due to blending.

Assist Winemaker and Cellarmaster in planning and ordering cellar activities such as pressings, rackings, pumpover regimes, and wine or juice additions. Monitor and control flow of addition slips.

Document procedures and proactively recommend improvements in cellar operations.

Assist Winemaker with barrel allocation plan for barrel fermentations and barrel fills

In conjunction with the Winemaker, oversee fermentation analysis for the purpose of reacting to problems or opportunities.

Oversee and document results of experiments, both clonal and barrel.

Provide fermentation and malolactic monitoring spreadsheets.

Monitor fermentations by taste and analysis.

Oversee safety and QC in conjunction with company policy.

Requires familiarity with the vineyard blocks at Epoch, especially as pertaining to potential production problems, or opportunities of each.

Prepares the daily crushing/draining and racking schedule based on the grape delivery schedule.

Assists Winemaker in planning and ordering cellar activities such as pressings, rackings, pumpover regimes, and wine or juice additions.

Assists Winemaker with barrel allocation plan for barrel fermentations.

In conjunction with the Winemaker, will oversee fermentation analysis for the purpose of reacting to problems or opportunities.


Responsible for the ongoing review, maintenance and QC of wines in conformance with good quality practice and the Winemaker’s procedures.  General QC responsibilities for bottling.

Responsible for logging all wine information in winemaking database and keeping database up to date.

Alongside Cellarmaster, direct daily winemaking in the absence of the Winemaker.

Assist in blending and finishing trials with the Winemaker.

Help guide cellar activities in clarification and aging of wines and in preparation for bottling.

In conjunction with the Winemaker, oversee and monitor experiments.

Assist Winemaker with vineyard decisions.  This position does not require prior vineyard experience, but will afford the opportunity to learn and participate in viticultural practices.

Will help guide cellar activities in clarification and aging of wines and in preparation for bottling.

Responsible for the development and oversight of general QA and Winemaking lab policy and procedures

In collaboration with the Winemaker, will interface with Marketing to plan wine availability.


Other Duties

Visit the Vineyards when schedule allows

Maintain and file all compliance records including but not limited to monthly 702’s

Maintain accurate records of all wines bottled during bottling, complete necessary forms.

Keep accurate details on remaining inventory for re-ordering purposes.


Facility Maintenance

The Assistant Winemaker will work in conjunction with winemaking team to keep facility in great condition and to keep all machinery in good operation.


Non-Winemaking Responsibilities:

Public Relations

Public relations responsibilities for this position will depend on experience of applicant.  However, the Assistant Winemaker, like the Winemaker, is responsible for communicating the company’s brand concept and doing so with articulation and enthusiasm.  It is also the objective of the position to communicate this conceptual information and enthusiasm to all those working for the company.

Perform certain PR functions for local events.

Represent the winery and pour wines at various functions including, but not limited to, trade events and bi-annual release parties.

Perform certain PR functions, including travel to meet the press, presenting the wine to sales or other trade groups and winemaker dinners.

Assist as necessary with visitors to the winery.

Assist the Winemaker in the general and technical wine education of winery employees.

Assist as necessary with visitors to the winery, such as conducting VIP tour/tastings.

Help out in tasting room area if needed.


Participate in the capital planning process as related to winemaking.

Participate in operations expense planning and control as it relates to winemaking. 



A minimum 2-3 years winemaking experience.

BS in Enology or Fermentation Science, or combination of related science degree and experience. 

People management experience a must.  Ability to work well with people.

The ideal candidate should be able to work collaboratively, be able to listen, learn and be very detail oriented.

Attention to detail. Well organized and able to manage priorities and workflow.

Self-motivated individual exhibiting confidence in winemaking, a self-starter attitude and ability to be proactive.  Must be a confident decision maker.  Commitment to excellence and high standards.

Excellent verbal, oral and written communication skills.

Interest in continuing to challenge knowledge and improve skills in all areas of wine production, including conducting experiments/trials.

Excellent palate.  Developed sensory evaluations skills, including:  ability to detect and discriminate subtle differences in wine, such as acidity, alcohol, flaws, tannins, fruit and wood flavors.

Professional and comfortable representing the wineries in front of a group as a spokesperson.

Well-developed problem solving skills.

Computer proficiency.

Required to lift 50 lbs occasionally. Long hours required during harvest, weekends.

Mobility throughout winery required.

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