Winemaker in Black Hills, South Dakota

WineTalent is working with our client, Prairie Berry Winery, on a Winemaker position at their facility in Hill City, South Dakota.

 About the Company:  Prairie Berry Winery is a leading producer of award-winning wines in the Black Hills area of South Dakota.  With a 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art production facility the winery is producing locally sourced fruit and grape wines along with fruit and juice sourced from vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.  Prairie Berry Winery is producing quality wines that their consumers love and enjoy in the beautiful Black Hills area.

About the Position:  The Winemaker is responsible for the management and processing of fruit into the highest quality wine.  The Winemaker will oversee grape harvesting and processing, fruit and juice receival and processing, all crush pad activities, fermentation management, additions, movements, blending, storage, finishing and packaging of all wines.  The role also provides leadership to the production team including staffing, scheduling, training, safety and mentoring


Winemaking: 65%

  • Coordinate and oversee hands-on production of highest quality wines using input and direction from the Director of Winemaking (DOW) in keeping with winery’s mission statement and values
  • Maintain the quality and style of the Prairie Berry brand while working to continuously improve each wine varietal
  • Responsible for the management and processing of fruit into wine including but not limited to grape harvesting and processing/crush pad activities, fermentation management, additions, movements, blending, storage, finishing and packaging of all wines
  • Responsible for the creation and accurate completion of Production Team wine work orders
  • Working with the Production Planner, plan aging and processing steps required to meet shipping deadlines
  • Operate and assist in caring for all cellar equipment including all pumps, hoses, bottling line/filter, cross-flow filters, Micro-Oxygenation, tank mixers, press and other cellar equipment according to SOP
  • Assist in all bottling operations; assist laboratory with bottling preparation and approval
  • Review monthly samples to ensure wines are aging appropriately, monitor wine stability and address any spoilage concerns
  • Conduct bench-top blending sessions, wine trials and sensory evaluations.

Production Personnel Leadership: 20%

  • Provide day-to-day guidance and oversight of subordinates; actively work to promote and recognize performance. Assign duties and monitor quality of work; assure staff adheres to organizational policies and procedures and government regulations
  • Plan and oversee staffing, scheduling, training, advancement, safety, evaluation and work of production employees
  • Work with Cellar Master to develop wine production schedule and duty assignments
  • Provide coaching and counseling one-on-one as part of production staff development; monitor and document staff performance and provide regular and ongoing feedback for continuous development

Fruit & Vineyard Management: 5%

  • Assist in maturity evaluations of fruit and coordination and scheduling of varieties to be harvested
  • Supervision of the arrival of grapes, evaluation and analyses of fruit upon arrival at the crush pad, overseeing the disposition, care and handling of the fruit for processing into wine

Compliance and Wine Tracking System: 5%

  • Assist the Quality and Lab Supervisor in the accurate and timely data entry into wine production software databases (WMBD) and company ERP Software
  • Work with the Quality and Lab Supervisor to maintain compliance to company’s HAACP programs
  • Assure that the Prairie Berry facility, additives and wines comply with all state, FDA, TTB, Bioterrorism Act and other applicable government regulations and company standards
  • Obtain applicable TTB COLA and formula approvals

General and Administrative: 5%

  • Provide safe and healthy working conditions at all times; immediately report all unsafe conditions, work-related accidents, and illness to Safety Coordinator and Human Resources
  • Oversee special projects as requested


  • Minimum 7 years of experience in a winemaking, cidermaking or beermaking environment
  • Bachelor’s degree in enology, chemistry or biology preferred
  • Experience with laboratory environment, equipment, and safety procedures
  • Winemaker’s Database skills a plus
  • Knowledge of vineyard management a plus
  • Strong organizational, problem-solving, and analytical skills; able to manage priorities and workflow
  • Proven ability to produce quality premium wines while maintaining cost objectives of winery
  • Well-developed leadership skills, ability to supervise and direct staff and work well with others, both inside and outside the company
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

 Employee Benefits & Perks:

  • Competitive Salary dependent on experience
  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Paid vacation, holidays and sick leave
  • 401(k) with company match
  • Additional benefits include a commuting subsidy and product discounts

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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