Do you have a passion for growing and being outdoors? If so, vineyard jobs may be ideal wine careers for you. The vineyard manager position is essentially in charge of the entire grape growing process. Specifically, the vineyard manager is in charge of supervising employees (harvest and other seasonal help), creating training for those employees, and business (or rather vineyard) planning throughout the year. Further, this vineyard job has budget responsibilities in accordance to the vineyard, such as monitoring to ensure maintaining within budget and recommending future budget adjustments. Finally, don’t forget about the viticulture responsibilities, such as monitoring the health of the grapes, recommending best practices for viticulture, and maintaining records for the vine performance.
As you can see, this is not an entry level position in the wine industry. In fact, here are some of the typical requirements you can expect to see for this type of a position: formal training in viticulture management or 5-10 years comparable experience in vineyard management and the ability to show communication and leadership skills. As a given, this position will require an educational background of at least a Bachelor’s degree in Viticulture or a related field.
Pay will vary by region and vineyard, but expect to see health benefits as well as a salary in the range $80,000’s according to WineBusiness.com.
To assist the vineyard manager with the more technical parts of the grape growing process, the viticulturist steps in to help. More specifically the duties and job responsibilities include: weekly monitoring of grapes (water status and health), weekly pest and disease monitoring, crop estimations, monitoring nutrition and fertilization of the vines, harvest coordination, and managing the field crews.
Again, this is not an entry-level position and will often require both schooling and experience. Typically for a viticulturist a winery will look for 5+ years experience in viticulture (grape growing). They will also seek someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Viticulture or a related field and management skills, such as communication and leadership. A viticulturist’s salary will vary, but will usually start out around $35,000-$40,000.
Finally, a viticulturist assistant will often be called upon for seasonal work to assist the viticulturist and vineyard manager. The duties and responsibilities include monitoring grapes for disease and pests, crop estimations, and maturity sampling and water stress monitoring.
Experience varies by vineyard, but the typical requirements are some winery and vineyard experience, basic computer skills (such as Excel and Outlook), a detail oriented individual, and the ability to work without direct supervision. Since this is a seasonal position, there is not a listed average salary. The pay will most likely be hourly and will vary by vineyard.