Assistant Winemaker

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Location: 
Yamhill, OR, United States

WillaKenzie Estate is an ultra-premium winery located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We meticulously farm 130 acres of Estate grown Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay in the Yamhill-Carlton and Dundee Hills AVAs. Our modern and well-equipped gravity flow winery helps us to achieve our high-quality standards. We are passionate about our winemaking and hold true to our mantras of “Dirt Matters” and “People Matter”. 

General Description:

Under general direction of winemaker, responsible for the assisting in winemaking and quality assurance program for all wines produced by Willakenzie at both the Estate and McMinnville winery.  

 

Specific Duties:

  1. Manages daily cellar operations in quality focused manner to ensure department meets its production goals
    1. Plans, prioritizes and communicates production schedule flow to ensure quality oriented and efficient completion of production operations.
    2. Writes work orders to ensure proper communication and documentation of cellar operations.
    3. Prepares wine for bottling (stabilization, filtration, etc.).
    4. Ensures wine quality is consistently maintained (e.g. topping, tank management, sanitization protocols, etc.).
    5. Hires/Supervises cellar staff and organizes necessary labor for support in cellar.
    6. Collaborates with winemaking team to annually update and communicate winery SOPs.
  2. Key Role Player in Managing Quality of WKE wines
    1. Develops in-depth understanding for WillaKenzie wine style and portfolio goals.
    2. Provides critical input into all winemaking decisions, blending decisions, trials, etc.
    3. Supports goals for department by helping to drive quality improvement initiatives (trials, experiments, etc.) and maintaining awareness of latest research and technology.
    4. Regularly organizes tastings and wine quality evaluations. May be asked to lead tours.
  3. Key Role Player in Oversight of Harvest Operations
    1. Manages production workflow (crush pad, daily work schedule, assignment of job tasks, preparation of harvest work orders).
    2. Participates in all qualitatively oriented decisions (picking, processing, fermentation, pressing, etc.).
    3. Collaborates with winemaker to oversee winery cooperage allocation program.
  4. Supervises and executes bottling operations
    1. Collaborates with Winemaker to develop bottling schedule
    2. Supervises bottling line operation and ensures equipment in proper working condition.
    3. Ensures adherence to WKE quality control standards for packaged goods reception/inspection and bottling line operation (sanitization, collection of required QC information, etc.).
  5. Provides support with strategic production department initiatives and objectives as assigned
  6. Facility/Equipment
    1. Ensures production and infrastructural equipment is in proper working order, develops annual equipment maintenance schedules, etc.
    2. Schedules pre-harvest equipment inspections, orders rental equipment, etc.
    3. Makes recommendations on equipment upgrade to enhance quality, efficiency, etc.
  7. Administrative/Other
    1. Supports production department by ensuring supply purchases are aligned with WKE budget, approves production invoices for payment, etc.
    2. Serves as winery safety lead to ensure safe work practices and compliance with applicable regulations.
    3. Supports brand by participating in marketing and consumer related trade events.

 

Background/Experience:

 

Requires BS Degree in Enology, Viticulture or related.  Must have 4-6 years’ of “hands-on” wine production experience.  Supervisory & winery experience is required.  Must have intermediate WORD & EXCEL skills.  Understanding of costing & inventory preferred.  This position requires a highly motivated individual who is organized, detail oriented and able to work independently as well as a member of a team.

 

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