Winemaker - Ripon

The Wine Group, 17000 E. Highway 120, Ripon, California, United States of America Req #1632
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
At The Wine Group we are passionate about our people, our future and our wine. We are America’s second largest wine producer by volume with over 1,200 employees globally across 12 locations in California, New York and Australia. We are proud to be responsible for many of America’s most beloved wine brands, including Cupcake, Franzia, Chloe, Concannon, Benziger, Imagery, AVA Grace, 7 Deadly and more. We are dedicated to our culture built on values like entrepreneurialism, innovation, social responsibility and stewardship. To learn about us and our career opportunities, check us out at and then come join the exciting journey at The Wine Group.


The Winemaker will report to the Senior Winemaker and will be directly responsible for the day-to-day winemaking and maintenance of wine quality, as well as directing and training the Assistant Winemaker/Enologist/Intern. Key areas of responsibility include support and facilitation between various production teams (including lab, winemaking, and cellar), ensuring priorities and protocols are achieved, cost effectiveness, accuracy, and safety to all performance standards. The Winemaker will have responsibility to make White, Red, or Rose wines destined for Domestic and Export Programs.


  • Directly responsible for varietal winemaking from grape to bottle. Yearly varietal responsibility will be determined by Senior Winemaker and/or Director of Winemaking. Work with the Senior Winemaker or of Winemaking to develop varietal program guidelines. Ensure wines are meeting target sensory and analytical quality requirements.
  • Direct lab analysis based on wine needs. Must have strong analytical background to run analysis in lab techs absence, or when requested. Use lab results to be able to properly maintain wine quality.
  • Participates in short and long-term planning of finishing/blending wines for bottling at TWG bottling facilities and Export Customers. Set facility processing/blending priorities according to bottling demand. Ability to work and think clearly in a logistically complex and fast-paced environment. Demands can frequently change so flexibility is key.
  • Writes process orders for distribution to operations for completion
  • Assist Senior Winemaker and winemaking team to write process orders, review process orders and approve prior to giving to operations team.
  • Complete blending/fining trials, or other experiments as directed
  • Be able to taste wine at various levels of the winemaking process. Participates in tasting of fermenters, holdback samples against current bottling blends and new proposed wines. Taste inventory samples weekly upon completion of lab running the analysis. Verifies and maintains overall wine quality through different winemaking practices. Will require traveling to other TWG facilities when assistance is needed.
  • Work directly with the Vineyard Team to assess vine health and grape quality. Develop strategies to help improve incoming grape quality. Aid in decision-making process as to when fruit should be picked.
  • Complete blending/fining trials, or other experiments as deemed necessary by Winemaking or Production Departments.
  • Work with Senior Winemaker/Sr. Director of Winemaking and Operations Team on forecasting and ordering of winemaking supplies. Will play a role in developing winemaking material annual budget.
  • Assist Operations Team with oversight of Cellar Operations when needed. Direct work and staff to get job done efficiently while keeping wine quality in mind.
  • Key driver of all Safety policies and procedures for the site. This includes overseeing safety audits, incident investigations, implementation of Company-wide safety policies and relevant safety training. Contribute or be part of facility safety team. Must lead by example.
  • Key driver in setting and achieving Wine Quality standards, GMPs and Sanitation schedules.
  • Participates in development of new or restructuring of existing blends
  • Attend seminars, and classes for continual education.
  • In the absence of the Senior Winemaker, the Winemaker will need to fill in and cover the Senior Winemaker duties.
  • Exhibit reactive and proactive management. Ability to come up with why, when, and how something happened and solution to fixing the problem.
  • This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for their job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


  • Must have complete understanding of enological process from grapes through blending. Exposure to a variety of winemaking methodology, wine styles and winemaking processes.
  • Effectively participate on Team. Oversee and train Assistant Winemakers, Enologists, and Interns.
  • Speaks well in front of groups. Represent brands and or company well.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Excellent Organoleptic skills at all stages of the winemaking process.
  • Excellent aptitude and knowledge of wines.
  • Large winery experience. Understanding of Winery Operations.
  • Ability to lead a department and manage team to overall success.
  • Ability to set priorities and work independently within set guidelines. Good time management skills.
  • Self-starter. Must be able to openly communicate with other departments.
  • Ability to multitask, work independently and with a team in a fast-paced, high-volume environment with emphasis on accuracy and timeliness
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills with attention to detail
  • Prepare weekly/monthly reports for Sr. Director of Winemaking regarding, but not limited to, wine processing, QA/QC, blend approval process, and forecasted volumes.
  • Attend seminars and classes for continual education.
  • Must embrace and demonstrate The Wine Group's Vision, Mission, and Values of: Long-Term Sustainable Value Creation, while being Relentlessly Entrepreneurial, with Empowered People who are Responsible and Trustworthy and keep them in mind when making all decisions.
  • This job description reflects management’s assignment of general functions; it does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned.


  • Must be 21 or older at time of hire.
  • Must demonstrate leadership abilities. Proven track record of high integrity.
  • BS/BA in Enology/Viticulture, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, Microbiology, or equivalent education/work experience.
  • 7 years minimum from graduation, multi-site experience (minimum 2 sites including external).
  • Passionate about wine quality while understanding cost associated with processing to help make smart business decisions.
  • Good understanding of lab and wine processing equipment.
  • Comfortable in bargaining unit environments.
  • Adaptive and stable in changing environments.
  • Must get the big picture issues, without losing the eye for details.
  • Proven analytical thinker, complemented by subjectivity for proper decision making.
  • Proven resolution management skills.
  • Powerful oral and written communicator.
  • Keen listening skills.
  • Capable of managing multiple cross functional professionals.
  • Strong computer skills. Proficient in Excel.


  • Ability to work at heights up to 45 feet.
  • Possess the ability to work in a fast-paced environment under pressure.
  • Working environment is both indoors and outdoors, with exposure to related equipment and noise levels.
  • Ability to perform tasks requiring bending, stooping, standing, and twisting in a production environment.

At The Wine Group, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to an environment of mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristic protected by law.


Other details

  • Job Family Winemaking
  • Job Function Operations
  • Pay Type Salary
  • Min Hiring Rate $91,200.00
  • Max Hiring Rate $136,800.00
Location on Google Maps
  • The Wine Group, 17000 E. Highway 120, Ripon, California, United States of America