Benchmark Consulting

Winemaker - Messina Hof Winery

Bryan, TX - Full Time

THE CLIENT

Messina Hof Winery  is a 80,000 case premium winery located near Bryan, Texas.  The Messina Hof legacy began 40 years ago, with an experimental vineyard and fifty varietals of grapes. Thousands of awards and a generation later, Messina Hof continues to be at the forefront of the Texas wine industry. For more information on Messina Hof Winery, please click on http://www.messinahof.com

 THE POSITION

The Winemaker is responsible for the overall leadership, management, direction and coordination of all strategic planning and execution as they relate to all winemaking, winery operations and vineyard management. The Winemaker is directly responsible for all aspects of wine quality. 

LOCATION

The position is located in Bryan, Texas.

 REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

The Winemaker works collaboratively with and reports to the Owner while also supervising the Vineyard and Production team.

 PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

The person in this hands-on position is responsible for directing all winemaking activities, ensuring the highest quality in support of Messina Hof Winery’s stylistic goals.  The Winemaker plans and implements improvements in the vineyards and winemaking procedures while helping define the emerging style(s) of Messina Hof Winery’s wines.  This position exhibits requires a spirit of collaboration within the Messina Hof Winery’s winemaking team, as well as with the entire Messina Hof Winery’s team.

 Winemaking:

  • Manages, leads and executes all winemaking activities, including but not limited to:  directing viticulture practices, field sampling, organizing the harvesting and reception of grapes, fermentation, aging, finishing and bottling.
  • In collaboration with the owners, responsible for picking decisions and harvest scheduling.
  • Determines, designs, conducts and evaluates all winemaking experiments in conjunction with the owners and winemaking team.
  • Collaborates with the Messina Hof Winery’s leadership on all key winemaking planning and decisions, including developing “house style” and incorporating market feedback and marketing initiatives into winemaking planning
  • Responsible for the maintenance of winemaker’s database, wine tracking records, and lab books with up to date information on each wine lot.
  • Responsible for the supervision of all winery sanitation, maintenance, and organization.
  • Directs laboratory work in conjunction with the rest of the winemaking team.
  • Directly manages the winemaking facility and all related equipment and supplies.
  • The Winemaker will manage all bottling, overseeing the entire process and final quality control.
  • Responsible for all elements of safety and compliance, including training, evaluation and reporting, as they relate to all winemaking operations.

 Vineyard Management:

  • Responsible for managing all aspects of Messina Hof Winery’s two estate-owned vineyards totaling 23 acres in conjunction with owners and Estate Vineyard Manager.
  • Responsible for relationship management and harvest coordination with contracted vineyards throughout Texas in order to meet the grape demands of the wine portfolio.

 Planning, Budgeting and Administration:

  • Develops and presents quarterly winemaking and vineyard management reviews and plans with more interim check-ins and updates.
  • Develops and manages annual winemaking and vineyard management budgets, including capital expenditures, in conjunction with the Owner.
  • Sources and collaborates on all purchasing with Owner. Responsible for purchasing all winemaking and vineyard equipment and supplies including packaging supplies and barrels.
  • Direct responsibility for hiring, managing, developing and mentoring all winemaking staff with support of Owner.

 Marketing:

  • The Winemaker will be responsible for limited marketing work including tastings, winemaker’s dinners and industry events.

PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Specific requirements include:

  • Passion for a broad style of wines and appreciation for both Old World and New World winemaking philosophies and techniques.
  • 5 or more years of winemaking, vineyard and people management experience with increasing responsibility for decision making.
  • College degree required, preferably a BS in Enology/Fermentation Science and/or Viticulture.
  • Luxury, boutique production winemaking experience with demonstrated results.
  • Enthusiasm, a sense of humor, self-starter attitude, flexibility and a positive outlook.
  • Commitment to excellence, high standards and successful execution of ideas.

 Required skills include:

  • Ability to collaborate with the consulting winemaker on key decisions. 
  • Ability to communicate proactively and precisely with all Messina Hof Winery team members.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as collaborate closely with other members of Messina Hof Winery team.
  • Advanced wine tasting skills including:  ability to detect and discriminate subtle differences in wine, such as acidity, alcohol, tannins, fruit and wood flavors, flaws, and textural and mouthfeel elements.
  • Interest in continuing to challenge knowledge and improve skills in all areas of fine wine production.
  • Strong leadership skills. Ability to motivate and mentor members of the winemaking and vineyard teams. 
  • Ability and willingness to represent the winery in the professional community including but not limited to:  speaking at conferences and presenting winery sponsored or conducted trials and/or research.
  • Demonstrated computer knowledge and skills including Excel, Word and winemaking software 
  • Strong verbal, written and presentation skills.

In addition, the selected individual will share and embrace Messina Hof Winery’s culture that includes a passion for excellence, innovation and fun. Compassion, confidence, patience and a highly developed sense of humor are also necessary for success.

Apply: Winemaker - Messina Hof Winery
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