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Jobs at Benchmark Consulting

Winemaker - Confidential Client

Location: Paso Robles, CA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Senior Manager/Supervisor


Benchmark Consulting is locating and screening candidates for this producer of fine wines. The Winery produces hand-crafted single vineyard wines specializing in Bordeaux Varietals. The Company offers a strong commitment to collaboration, communication and education and believes in helping to build every partner’s success. This is a confidential search and selected candidates will be required to complete nondisclosure agreements prior to interviewing for the position. For more information regarding Benchmark Consulting and to submit your resume please visit Benchmark Consulting at www.benchmarkhr.com.



The Winemaker is responsible for the overall leadership, management, direction and coordination of all strategic planning and execution as they relate to all winemaking, winery operations and vineyard management. The Winemaker is directly responsible for all aspects of wine quality.



The position is located in California.



The Winemaker works collaboratively with the consulting winemaker and reports to the winery’s owners. The Winemaker is also responsible for collaborating with and managing an outside Vineyard Management company(s)



The person in this hands-on position is responsible for directing all winemaking activities, ensuring the highest quality in support of winery’s stylistic goals with a Passion for Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux-style wines.

The Winemaker plans and implements improvements in the vineyards and winemaking procedures while helping    define the emerging style(s) of Winery’s wines. This position requires a spirit of collaboration within the winemaking team, as well as with the entire winery team


• Manages, leads and executes all winemaking activities, including but not limited to: directing viticulture practices, field sampling, organizing the harvesting and reception of grapes, fermentation, aging, finishing and bottling.

• In collaboration with the Vineyard Management, responsible for picking decisions and harvest scheduling.

• Determines, designs, conducts and evaluates all winemaking experiments in conjunction with winemaking team.

• Collaborates with the Winery team on all key winemaking planning and decisions, including developing “house style” and incorporating market feedback and marketing initiatives into winemaking planning.

• Hires personnel as needed in coordination with the Owner(s).

• Directs laboratory work in conjunction with the rest of the winemaking team.

• Directly manages the winemaking facility and all related equipment and supplies.

• The Winemaker will manage all bottling, overseeing the entire process and final quality control.

• Responsible for all elements of safety and compliance, including training, evaluation and reporting, as they relate to all winemaking operations.

Vineyard Management:

• Responsible for managing all aspects of winery’s relationship with an outside Vineyard Manager contracted to farm estate-owned vineyards + additional contracted vineyard locations. As well as the wineries own internal vineyard team.

• Actively promotes improvements in the vineyards throughout the season in collaboration with the outside Vineyard Manager.

• Determines, designs, conducts and evaluates viticultural experiments in conjunction with outside Vineyard Manager.

• Responsible for grape sales, as may be required from time to time, in conjunction with the Owner’s.

Planning, Budgeting and Administration:

• Develops and presents annual winemaking and vineyard management reviews and plans with more interim check-ins and updates.

• Develops and manages annual winemaking and vineyard management budgets, including capital expenditures, in conjunction with the Owner’s.

• Sources and collaborates on all purchasing with Owner’s. Responsible for purchasing all winemaking and vineyard equipment and supplies including packaging supplies and barrels.

• Direct responsibility for hiring, managing, developing and mentoring all winemaking staff with support of Owner’s.


• The Winemaker will be responsible for limited marketing work including tastings, winemaker’s dinners and industry events.



Specific requirements include:

• Passion for Bordeaux-style wines and appreciation for both Old World and New World winemaking philosophies and techniques.

• 5 or more years of winemaking, vineyard and people management experience with increasing responsibility for decision making.

• College degree required, preferably a BS in Enology/Fermentation Science and/or Viticulture.

• Luxury, boutique production winemaking experience with demonstrated results.

• Enthusiasm, a sense of humor, self-starter attitude, flexibility and a positive outlook.

• Commitment to excellence, high standards and successful execution of ideas.

Required skills include:

• Ability to collaborate with the owner on key decisions.

• Ability to communicate proactively and precisely with all Winery team members.

• Ability to work independently, as well as collaborate closely with other members of the winery’s team.

• Advanced wine tasting skills including: ability to detect and discriminate subtle differences in wine, such as acidity, alcohol, tannins, fruit and wood flavors, flaws, and textural and mouth feel elements.

• Interest in continuing to challenge knowledge and improve skills in all areas of fine wine production.

• Strong leadership skills. Ability to motivate and mentor members of the winemaking and vineyard teams.

• Ability and willingness to represent the winery in the professional community including but not limited to: speaking at conferences and presenting winery sponsored or conducted trials and/or research.

• Demonstrated computer knowledge and skills including Excel, Word and winemaking software.

• Strong verbal, written and presentation skills.

Preferred job qualifications include:

• Spanish language skills a plus. 

In addition, the selected individual will share and embrace the Winery’s culture that includes a passion for excellence, innovation and fun. Compassion, confidence, patience and a highly developed sense of humor are also necessary for success. The client company and Benchmark Consulting are committed to an equal opportunity hiring policy and work environment. If you are interested and qualified, please contact:

Dawn Bardessono

Managing Partner

1030 Seminary Street, Suite A

Napa, CA 94559

707.933.1500 Phone

707.843.6458 Mobile

707.933.1508 Fax



Benchmark vigorously protects its proprietary information and its contractual rights. Each of the position openings posted on this website are pursuant to an express retained search agreement between the applicable prospective employer and its exclusive employee recruiting agent, Benchmark Consulting. Information regarding these openings is to be used by prospective candidates only, and for no other purpose. Use of the information found on this website by other employment recruiting firms for purposes of inducing a breach of contract between the applicable employer and Benchmark may constitute tortuous interference of contractual relations, with resulting liability. Any unauthorized use or dissemination of the information contained in these listings, whether by individuals or other placement services, is strictly prohibited. Benchmark reserves the right to pursue its remedies to the fullest extent available in law or equity against any and all individuals and entities who attempt to use the information posted on this website in any manner which is detrimental to Benchmark's interests.

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