Benchmark Consulting

Winemaker - NexTerra Wine Co.

Woodridge, IL - Full Time

Job Summary:

Supports all activities of the winemaking and master blending processes. This role is responsible running day to day cellar and lab activity and for ensuring quality of all wine from receiving, through blending, and bottling. 

Essential Functions: 

  • Responsible for overall daily cellar operations.
  • Plans all daily cellar activities, produces and oversees winery work orders to ensure cellar staff performs all tasks to completion ensuring all critical activities are finalized. 
  • Trains cellar staff on SOPs and day-to-day cellar operations, mentoring, coaching and development. 
  • Works with the Winery Admin to ensure accuracy of transactions both in the cellar as well as in winery software.
  • Works with Winery Admin to process 702 reporting for wine, juice, sugars and concentrates.  
  • Proposes trial blends for approval by Director of Winemaking.
  • Coordinates with Director of Winemaking to establish monthly routine for tasting, blending trials, oak trials, fining trials, etc.
  • Communicates any concerns about wine faults (VA, Brett, H2S, etc.) to Director of Winemaking in a timely manner.
  • Ensures all wines are stabilized and filtered in conjunction with bottling schedule.
  • Audits lab reports for completion and accuracy. Reviews concerns with Director of Winemaking and Lab Manager/Technician. 
  • Coordinates and oversees pilot and fruit wine fermentations.
  • Develops project plans, coordinates projects, communicates changes and progress and executes projects on time and on budget.
  • Pursues training and development opportunities, strives to continuously build knowledge and skills, shares expertise with others.
  • Maintains compliance with local, state, and federal safety regulations and participates in company-wide safety programs to build a strong safety culture.
  • Performs role with tenacity, working with tact, treating all others with respect and consideration, achieving quality results while remaining open to constructive criticism. 
  • Provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates, gives appropriate recognition to others, displays passion and optimism, empowering others to fulfill goals.
  • Identifies, analyzes and resolves problems in a timely manner – elevating to Director of Winemaking as necessary.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelors in Enology, Fermentation Science or related science-based field required unless candidate has 7+ years of experience. 
  • A minimum of 5 years of supervisory & winery experience is required. 
  • Willing to work extended hours at times and able to stand for long periods of time, climb stairs and ladders, lift and carry 50 pounds. Candidate should be prepared to work on their feet in wet, uncomfortable, and physically challenging conditions. Ability/willingness to work long hours and weekends when called for to ensure wine quality.
  • Strong wine chemistry, sensory and analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills: written, verbal, electronic.
  • Must have strong skills in Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Outlook).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with varietals from diverse regions, international and domestic.
  • Experience managing a wine lab.
  • Experience using winery software, preferably Dynamics NAV.
  • Experience blending wines from multiple appellations.
  • Experience with international/imported bulk wines.
  • Experience managing Cellar staff.
  • Experience at a large winery.


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