WineTalent is working with our client, Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV), on a Director of Winemaking and Vineyards position in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
About the Company: Willamette Valley Vineyards is a leading producer of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. WVV is a publicly held and owned company making some of the finest wines in the world while being a steward of its people, environment and community. The wines are currently made in Turner, Oregon and a new winemaking facility is planned for the Dundee Hills. Willamette Valley Vineyards owns and farms five estate vineyards totaling approximately 500 acres in some of the most sought-after sub-appellations. The company is in a tremendous phase of growth and this position will be a key player in those growth plans
About the Position: WVV is seeking a Director of Winemaking and Vineyards who is passionate about making wines of excellent quality sourced from premier vineyards in Oregon. The Director of Winemaking and Vineyards will be in charge of planning and building a new winery from design to operation, relocating the production into a larger and more efficient facility in the Dundee Hills within the next 2-4 years. This role is responsible for the overall leadership, management and coordination of strategic planning and execution as it relates to winemaking and vineyards. The Director will apply their business acumen and entrepreneurial skills as they champion improvements and innovation to the winery operations across WVV’s brands.
Responsibilities: The ideal candidate will promote a team-oriented approach with emphasis on leading through inspiration and mutual respect. We are looking for an experienced, organized, detail-oriented, hands-on and positive individual who manifests entrepreneurial spirit, versatility, flexibility, and a willingness to work with a dynamic and fast-growing company.
- Lead a team consisting of Associate Winemaker, Production Winemaker, Production Manager, Viticulturist, Vineyard Manager, and Warehouse Manager. Overall, the team size is approximately 65 employees, excluding seasonal workers.
- Skilled in all manners of premium winemaking including equipment, techniques, processes and bottling. Ultimately responsible for wine quality and meeting quantity needs.
- Practical knowledge of viticulture and farming for style and price.
- Develops and adheres to winery and vineyard operational budgets to maintain tight cost of goods and hit margin goals.
- Develops capital expenditure proposals and implements approved projects. Works to plan and construct future production facility to better meet the winery’s growing needs. Design, equipment purchases, permitting and all other faucets.
- Develops long-term plans to meet WVV’s fruit supply needs by working with the CFO and Winery Director in forecasting and developing planting plans and strategic partnerships with growers.
- Works with Winery Director and other sales leaders to plan production volume and SKU needs.
- Plans and implements new processes to gain efficiencies from harvest to bottling to warehousing to inventory management.
- Manage suppliers and other key production related vendors.
- Coordinate contract vineyard services for two vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley and Rocks District of Milton-Freewater and contract winemaking services for the Natoma wines in California.
- Lead innovation to continually serve the market with new offerings, categories and storied wines.
- Research and develop winemaking techniques and trials to improve wine quality.
- Strict adherence to safety procedures and able to instruct team on all safety measures.
- Ensure facilities are maintained in operable and safe condition.
- Ensures all government compliance and record keeping is in place and updated.
- Proven competency in use of Excel or other tracking tools, software such as VinTrace and AgCode.
- Assist with sales and marketing activities by representing the winery at technical, trade or consumer events as a passionate storyteller and advocate for Willamette Valley wines. Some travel for various wholesale support or event hosting.
- Conducts regular staff training to educate team members on WVV’s wines and vineyards.
- Ensures department’s policies and procedures and SOPs are up-to-date, develops new ones when needed.
- Supports company’s effort to create a more sustainable, cross-cultural and “green” environment.
- 7+ years of winemaking, vineyard and management experience including oversight of capital projects.
- S. in Enology, Viticulture, Chemistry, Food Science or a related field required.
- Must be eligible to work in the United States.
- Strong organization, supervisory and leadership skills.
- Excellent communication and presentation skills.
- Strong technical and analytical skills.
- Must be available to work peak demand times including harvest and extended hours when needed.
- Successful completion of background and reference check
- Able to life and carry 40 lbs.
- Bi-lingual (Spanish/English) is a plus
- Experience with sparkling wine is a plus.
Compensation and Benefits:
- This is a full-time, salaried position
- Competitive compensation depending on experience plus benefits including medical, dental and vision coverage, paid time off and 401(k).
- Relocation assistance available.
About WineTalent: WineTalent is a wine industry focused recruitment company. We work closely with our clients and our job seekers to find the right fit of talents, experience and work environment. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.
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