Friday, October 13, 2017

Quick Update: If you lost work due to the wildfires, read this post

Just got this information from a fellow Facebook friend. Unemployment Benefits for those affected by #cawildfires
KSRO 1350/103.5 Sonoma County’s News Talk
EDD is waiving the waiting week period for all new unemployment insurance claims. This means if you call by this Saturday you are paid for this week. Usually the first two weeks of a new claim pays only one of the weeks.
Call 1-800-300-5616. These are the selections so you don’t have to wait forever listening to all the options.

If you do go to the site and can share anything about this, please let me know at

Wildfire victims could tap insurance for evacuation cost reimbursement

In case you were evacuated during the #cawildfires, please visit the CA Department of Insurance for a note about reimbursement. Link below

Wildfire victims could tap insurance for evacuation cost reimbursement

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

California Wildfires: Ways to Help

What a horrific few days we are going through.  Monday morning I got my first news report of the wildfires ravaging the Northern California wine country.  A couple of days have gone by, but the very real threat of disaster has not.  Wanting to help out,  I've learned a lot about what we can do to offer assistance and support to the victims of the fires and to those helping fight the fires and assisting evacuees.

I started by asking my CalFire Chief neighbor.  He recommended checking with Red Cross and local faith based charities near the evacuation areas.  The Red Cross is currently asking for donations, which you can give online at, call 800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  I also recommend considering giving donations to the Salvation Army, which is supporting many of the evacuation centers,  

NVCC Donation Board from 10/11/17 around 10:30 AM
Evacuation Centers:  Yesterday I headed to the Solano Community College evacuation center to deliver supplies and volunteer.  They were in good shape with donations, and at this time are only requesting monetary donations.  For more information, please visit the KROC Center Suisun City Facebook page.   This morning a good friend brought needed supplies to the Napa Valley Community College evacuation site.  To find out what needs they currently have, please visit the NV College Facebook page.  They are updating it regularly.  For information for the The Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds Evacuation Center, visit the Office of Emergency Services Facebook Page. Many shelters are in need of Spanish language translators.   If you can translate, please check in with a local evacuation shelter to find out that sites needs.  

Getting Current Information:  With things changing both with the fires and with the needs at evacuation centers, it can be tough to know what to do.  First of all, Petaluma has a google doc which is kept up to date.  For information on needs there, and resources for residents, please visit the google doc here.  

Facebook has been a lifeline to hearing about how friends are doing.  You can keep up to date about the needs of many volunteer organizations there.  

  • Visit the Tubbs Fire (Lake/Sonoma/Mendo) Facebook group to get involved in community discussion, find lost pets and offer services, along with the Tubbs Fire Safety Check-inFacebook page, which has a support link. You can post services you have to offer. Search for other community groups on Facebook to open the conversation and get up-to-date needs.
  • Visit the Atlas Fire (Napa and Solano Counties) Facebook group for ways to offer and receive help from the community.  
  • The Sonoma Humane Society is sharing lost and found pets on its Facebook page
  • Yesterday I also brought donations so the Solano SPCA, who are accepting donation of pet food and supplies.  Please visit the Solano SPCA Facebook page for current information. 
Fundraising sites:  Knowing we want to make our contributions count and go to the right organizations, please find additional information about ways to help here:
  • Many local fundraising efforts are on the GoFundMe pages.  Here is a list of GoFundMe pages dedicated to California fire relief:
  • Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) has mobilized its Disaster Relief Fund. Make a gift here
  • The Community Foundation of Sonoma County supports local Sonoma County charities, getting funds where they are needed most, quickly and effectively.

Keeping up the fight:
I haven't nailed down a way to help the firefighters directly, but if you can, I am sure they love a thank you and a hot meal, coffee, cool water, etc.  I know many of the evacuation centers are coordinating catering for the staff.  Check with your local evacuation center for ways to assist. 

Thank you firefighters, volunteers and emergency responders.  And thank YOU for helping out in any way you can.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day from WineTalent

Here at WineTalent, we value hard work, and greatly appreciate everyone out there who is contributing to our local, national and global economies.  Labor Day may simply seem like a day off at the beginning of September, but it is a day honoring the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Labor Day became a US federal holiday in 1894.  It symbolizes the end of summer for many of us, and I am looking forward to celebrating it with some time on the water, and with family and friends.

Labor Day may be celebrated by many of us the first Monday of September, but in the wine industry, many production folks don't get the day off.  Mother nature marches to her own drummer, and only she knows when the fruit will be ripe for picking and when the fermentations will start for winemaking.  For all of my friends working over this Labor Day weekend, please know that everyone greatly appreciates all your hard work, and we hope you'll have an opportunity for some rest and relaxation once crush is over.

To everyone out in the wine community, thank you for all of your hard work.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

WineTalent Classifieds: Hospitality Manager in St. Helena

WineTalent is working with our confidential client in St. Helena, CA, to find an experienced hospitality professional to lead the hospitality team at the winery.

Job Description:  Situated in the heart of the Napa Valley, WineTalent’s client is seeking a Hospitality Manager to oversee the staff and manage the guest experience at a busy tasting room on the Silverado Trail.   Working with colleagues from the wine club team, the Hospitality Manager will be directing the tasting room, facilitating wine club sign-ups, managing wine sales and overseeing hospitality events.  This position will be managing a team of 10 tasting room personnel as well as a few key hospitality support personnel.

  • Oversee daily tasting room operations including staffing. 
  • Handle outreach to business partners including destination management companies, tour providers and wineries. 
  • Manage wine and non-wine sales including shipping, inventory management and providing top-line customer service when necessary.
  • Ensure the tasting room is stocked with all necessary items including stemware, wine supplies, retail goods and related items.
  • Market winery’s hospitality program within local community, to wine enthusiasts and to business partners. 
  • Manage and build VIP and key customer relationships.
  • Determine areas where improvement is needed and put systems in place to correct and improve. 
  • Manage tasting room within annual company budget and periodically make adjustments to maximize profitability

  • 2 or more years in a hospitality management position within the wine industry. 
  • Experience with AMS and Vin65 preferred
  • Proven personnel management experience including recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, scheduling, coaching and effectively reviewing performance. 
  • Solid DTC sales management experience.
  • Understanding of government regulations including compliance and consumer shipping regulations.

All applicants and inquiries will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.   

Friday, August 11, 2017

Winejobs Monthly Hiring Update: Postings up 1% from Last Year

Wineries keep increasing the job postings on, up 1% from the same time in 2016.  Hospitality was the greatest growth of postings from the same time last year, up 19%.  Winemaking postings broke even while sales and marketing job postings were down 27%.  Hmmm--maybe good wines are being made and salespeople are able to sell them, while the desire to push more sales through DTC continues.  For more information, please visit

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Image result for lab girl hope jahrenI love a book that you don't want to put down and once you finish it you've learned about new things and have gained insight into other people's lives.  I would say I loved Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.  This book is written by Hope Jahren, recounting her experiences in the science laboratory, in academia and in life.  Hope is a geobiologist who talks about the life of plants--in a riveting way, and also talks about the life of a scientific researcher--in a very personal way.
Lab Girl chronicles Dr. Jahren's life from her childhood in Minnesota, through her undergraduate college days and into her professor and research roles.  Hope incorporates memories and thoughts from her past into tales about plant life and soil science.  This may sound unusual, but Hope does a facinating job of it.  She is unabashedly honest about the struggles she has faced in interpersonal relationships, in the academic setting, and with her own mental health.  
I read this book earlier this year and have had it sitting on my desk waiting for a chance to review it.  I got through this book very quickly, which is always a godsend for me.  But over the last few months I have not forgotten her stories.  These include her loyal lab mate's life living at or below the poverty line on a university's technician's pay.  Living in his beat up van, moving it from public land to abandoned parking lot, all while having a shoddy manual transmission.  
Hope also weaves information about the life cycle, hopes and dreams and the ultimate end of plants' lives.  Talking about paleobotany, academic struggles, successful scientific discoveries and unsuccessful lab disasters, Hope keeps you engaged and rooting for her success.
During the story, Hope also describes her personal struggle with mental health.  She is completely frank and honest about what she has dealt with, what it is like, and how she deals with it.  It can be surprising to hear her revelations, but it makes you so impressed with her commitment to scientific research, and to the people she values around her.  
Her book concludes with a science experiment wrapping up in her botany lab in Hawaii.  She is a full professor at the University of Hawaii.  She has secured a good position for her faithful companion, Bill, and they are finally able to live well.  Hope has married and has a young son.  Life seems to be shining on her.  And out of her contentment came this wonderful book about her life.  Go shine some light on this book, and your knowledge will grow--just like a young seedling!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

WineTalent Classifieds: Winery Cost Accountant in Napa, CA

WineTalent is working with our client,, to find a Cost Accountant to join their team in Napa.

About is creating a community of wine drinkers and winemakers who are changing the wine world for the better. customers support talented, independent winemakers across the USA and the world, in return for access to exclusive handcrafted wines at amazing prices. Because they fund winemakers upfront, can remove a huge chunk of the costs that would usually be passed back to the customer. started in the UK in 2008 and by 2012 Naked Wines launched in the US and later in Australia.  The US business recently celebrated its 5th anniversary and is delivering profits along with significant growth.  In Napa, has a marketing, operations, finance and customer service team approaching 100 people, and a production site in Kenwood.  WineTalent is searching for someone to improve the wine cost accounting processes to support the fast growth of sales.

Come be a part of a culture of fun, hard-working people in a laid-back environment where employees come to work in flip flops and jeans.  All of’s staff members are very friendly and helpful, so before long you will be coming to work with your friends.

We are looking for an experienced wine Cost Accountant for US business to help the company reach its fullest potential.  This position will report to the Controller and support the following activities:
  • Design and implement best-in-class controls to improve cost accounting methods and procedures.
  • Reconcile monthly inventory of bulk wine, cased goods, and packaging materials to ensure that inventory value is accurately reflected on financial reports.
  • Compile and produce summary reports related to winery spend and monthly costs.
  • Drive business performance through insightful analysis of inventory and COGS.
  •  Work closely with Controller on annual audit and lead inventory and cost accounting areas.
  •  Work across various departments both locally and globally to implement group standard tools, systems and processes.
  • Provide analysis support for various business driven projects as needs evolve.
Candidates who connect through positive and respectful interaction and create extraordinary experiences, solutions and ideas will be at the top of the list. 

  • Four-year degree in Accounting or Finance; CPA preferred.
  • 3 – 5 years of cost accounting experience desired; previous wine industry experience preferred.
  •  Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
  • Highly organized with acute attention to detail and high level of integrity.
  • Ability to take initiative and work collaboratively within company guidelines.
  • Passion for continuous process improvement.

  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Retirement Plan
  • Paid Holidays, vacation, and sick time
  • Monthly gym contribution
  • Wine allowance
  •  Compensation - Dependent on experience and qualifications

Email resumes to All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.  Applicants will also be required to take an online assessment.