Associate Winemaker (Wine Jobs: Vineyards & Cellars )

Full Time

  Chamisal Vineyards

  San Luis Obispo, California

Company Background: 

The historic Chamisal property, the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley, has been producing wines of distinctive character since 1973. The winemaking philosophy reflects simplicity and purity allowing the natural characteristics of this remarkable region to shine through. Located just minutes from downtown San Luis Obispo, the estate is home to four different varieties planted on 85 acres: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache. In addition we source grapes from premier vineyards throughout the Central Coast with a particular focus on the Sta. Rita Hills.  

Malene Wines began in 2015 with a focus on Provencal-style Rose. This rapidly expanding brand now produces three Roses as well as a Rolle and Grenache Noir red wine. Sourced from premier Rhone Vineyards, predominantly in Santa Barbara County, these wines are made with true intent to be as close to the great roses of Provence as is possible to produce in California.  

Position Summary:

Under general direction, coordinates and reviews the activities involved in the operation of wine cellar and wine quality assurance lab. Responsible for maintaining quality of bulk inventory. Oversees the daily operation of the cellar, lab and mobile bottling line in order to meet production requirements/schedules. Maintains records for all internal wine movements. Assists in the development of procedural and quality control manuals. May conduct educational tours and tastings.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

The following reflects management’s definition of essential functions for this job but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. Management may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time due to reasonable accommodations or other reasons. 


  • Manage all cellar procedures: physical plant cleaning, sanitation and maintenance; crush and press operation; all manner of fining & stability of wines; barrel filling, topping and stirring; all manner of wine additions; pump and hose operations; any required errands.
  • Create and maintain methods and procedures in the lab and cellar to monitor and improve the quality of wines produced, and train and enforce quality procedures among winery staff.
  • Participate in all aspects of harvest work, and work to ensure the quality and condition of the grapes and wine produced. Responsible for managing a shift during harvest.
  • Develop quality based SOPs and metrics in conjunction with the Winemaker.
  • Assists in the development and implementation of quality control procedures.  
  • Coordinates with other departments for long and short term production schedules. 
  • Responsible for maintaining quality of bulk inventory and conduct monthly bulk and case goods inventory. Ensure correct wine transfer records are maintained for bulk and case goods.
  • Maintain accurate and timely records in Vintrace from lab analysis and written work orders. 
  • Familiarity with the Estate Vineyard, our viticultural team and techniques as well as our contract growers/vineyards. Coordinate sampling of vineyard blocks.
  • Perform any laboratory analysis in the absence of lab technician.
  • Orders and manages vendors and equipment to ensure obtain cost effective and competitive pricing.
  • Provide budgetary summaries/projections for cellar supplies and expenses.
  • Develops and maintains all expenses related to cellar operations (department budget, grape costs, wines, equipment and supplies).   


  • Plans labor needs for production department to include cellar, bottling, and harvest needs.
  • Recruit, hire, train and manage the work of all cellar and lab employees. Coordinate staff tastings.
  • Assigns duties and monitors quality of work; assures staff conforms to organizational policies and procedures and government regulations.
  • Review job and safety performance of staff on an annual basis at a minimum, and more frequently as may be required.  

Safety and Accident Prevention Coordination:

  • Responsible for managing Health and Safety program.  
  • Ensure safety practices are current and OSHA compliant.
  • Conduct monthly safety meetings.  
  • Maintain records of topics and attending employees.  
  • Responsible for suggestions and follow-up items from meetings. 
  • Complete quarterly plant inspections, including follow through on corrective actions cited or indicated by conditions found.  
  • Maintains written record of inspections.
  • Issue and monitor safety equipment and proper use to all employees: respirator, gloves, goggles, back belts, and any other safety equipment as required.  
  • Instruct and monitor execution of tank entry procedures and lock out procedures. 
  • Reviews, revises, and updates SDS manuals quarterly; a minimum of two safety meetings per year will address location, use, and contents of SDS manuals. 
  • Complete Employee Safety Checklist and Orientation for all new employees. 
  • Records damage reports for property loss due to accidents. 
  • Other duties as required under the Chamisal Vineyards IIPP.  


  • Assist the Winemaker with bottling schedules and ensure adequate quantities of packaging supplies (closures, bottles, caps, labels etc.) are ordered in time to meet bottling deadlines. 
  • Participate in the management and running of the bottling line, particularly in the absence of the Winemaker. 
  • Manage all aspects of safety and training of bottling line personnel with the Cellar Supervisor. 
  • Supervise all aspects of wine and packaging quality control; particularly ensuring all qualitative and quantitative measures are within parameters. 
  • Coordinate shipment and inventory of wines and bottling supplies in absence of Winemaker. 
  • Manage all bottling supplies, garbage removal, deliveries, and labor hours conservatively to control costs. 
  • Review and renovate procedures to improve as required. The Winemaker will review all procedures before they are implemented.  


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Enology, Fermentation Science, or related degree 
  • Years of Experience: Five or more years’ winemaking experience including experience in a managerial role such as Enologist, Assistant Winemaker or Cellarmaster. 
  • Interest in continuing to challenge knowledge and improve skills in all areas of wine production, including conducting experiments/trials.
  • Passion for wine. 
  • Strong attention to detail.  
  • Highly organized and able to manage priorities and workflow.  
  • Be “hands on” and have a positive can-do attitude; will be a team player and work to develop a professional team in the cellar. 
  • Excellent verbal, oral and written communication skills.  
  • Ability to work with all levels of management. 
  • Developed sensory evaluations skills, including: ability to detect and discriminate subtle differences in wine, such as acidity, alcohol, flaws, tannins, fruit and wood flavors. 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. 
  • Must be able to work with materials such as SO2 or chlorine or any other material routinely present in operating a winery or laboratory.
  • Must be able to work overtime, nights and weekends as required for harvest or bottling.   
  • Must be certified to drive a forklift, ATV and other equipment as required for harvest. 
  • Spanish language skills a plus. 
  • Must have basic laboratory skills. 
  • Occasional travel for events or sales may be required. 
  • Must be able to work on ladders and at heights up to 35 feet.
  • Physically able to lift 50 pounds minimum using safe procedures on a repetitive basis. 
  • Must have clean driving record.

How To Apply

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