Tuesday, June 9, 2020

WineTalent Classifieds: Lab Manager - Enologist in the Napa Valley

WineTalent is working with our winery client to find a Lab Manager – Enologist to join the company. 


About the Company:  Our client is a well-respected, luxury wine producer in the heart of the Napa Valley.  The wines are produced from all estate grown fruit.  The winery has a proven commitment to producing wines of the highest quality. 


About the Position:  The Lab Manager will be responsible for Quality Assurance throughout the entire winemaking process, from grape sampling to bottling. The Lab Manager will carry out routine laboratory analysis on juice and wine samples and maintain accurate records of results.  This position will have frequent interaction with the Winemaker and cellar staff, be aware of all winery activities and monitor the evolution of the wine.  The Lab Manager will also be responsible for maintaining all inventories of lab chemicals and supplies, wine and dry goods, tracking cellar work orders and activities as they affect inventories and maintain all production records.  The Lab Manager will oversee the acquisition of dry goods and logistics during packaging, bottling and warehousing of wine.  This role supervises harvest interns and has daily interaction with the production team.  As needed, the Lab Manager will write and maintain SOPs for the laboratory and the cellar.   


Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 


      Update standardization protocols and analytical procedures.

      Maintain and update testing procedures

      Maintain accurate record of test results

      Maintain, calibrate and troubleshoot laboratory equipment and offer solutions as necessary

      Ensure accurate analysis, compare results against previous data and re-run if results are not within specifications

      Check lab analysis against external lab analysis to verify accuracy

      Perform monthly volatile acidity and free SO2 analyses on all aging wine lots

      Perform full analytical panel on all lots at racking (every three months)

      Perform analysis panels as per Analysis Request Calendar (harvest and malolactic)

      Sample tanks and barrels as necessary, and request samples from cellar team

      Record results in vintage log

      Conduct sensorial testing for wine defects

      Maintain current inventory of lab chemicals and supplies and order as necessary

      Alert Winemaker to potential issues with analysis or other observations

      Investigate new lab protocols and methods

      Ensure proper safety procedures are followed in the lab


Laboratory Analyses


o   Total Acidity

o   Free SO2

      Auto-analyzer (SMARTCHEM) or Spectrophotometer (enzymatic)

o   Volatile Acidity

o   Malic Acid

o   Residual Sugar

o   Nitrogen/Ammonia


o   CO2


o   Alcohol

      pH meter

o   pH

      NTU meter

o   NTU


o   Tannins – A280

o   Anthocyanins

      Invisible Sentinel – PCR

o   Brettanomyces


o   Microbiological observations of yeast and bacteria


o   Brix

      Glories Method

o   Phenolic sampling during harvest


Winemaking Related Responsibilities

      Participate in daily cellar crew meeting and interaction with cellar crew

      Calculate and confirm wine additions

      Write and maintain SOP’s for laboratory and cellar

      Prepare egg-white fining and filtration trials and other benchtop trials as needed

      Prepare trial blends and determine AVA and varietal breakdown

      Understand winemaking and aging process to plan and organize analyses annually

      Perform sensorial analysis and alert supervisor to any potential quality issues

      Calculate and confirm additions

      Proactively check analyses on lots according to stage or intervention

      Prepare bulk wine samples


Inventories and Traceability

      Enter work orders into cellar record keeping document

      Maintain intermediate inventory

      Prepare end of month bulk inventory

      Participate in annual physical inventory

      Ensure that traceability is completed (in coordination with cellar master)



      Realize pre-bottling analyses

      Prepare bottling work order

      Assist in pre-bottling organization (warehouse map, logistics, storage placement of bottles)

      Ensure quality control during bottling

      Realize inventory count

      Enter bottling work order and create bottling summary

      Supply cage labels

      Realize end of bottling dry goods inventory



      Order dry goods (labels, foils, cases) and coordinate delivery and storage

      Prepare warehouse maps and packaging logs

      Realize pre-packaging analyses

      Assist in pre-packaging meeting

      Perform quality control checks on all dry goods (labels, filters, cases)

      Ensure quality control during packaging

      Realize end of day inventory count

      Enter packaging work order and create packaging summary

      Realize end of bottling dry goods inventory


Managing of Intern

      Prepare intern introduction and training plan

      Train and manage lab intern sampling methods, sample rows, grape analysis and data entry

      Organize and evaluate intern’s work schedule

      Coordinate sampling and grape ripening analysis

      Layout and monitor activities during the workday (with Winemaker)


Cork Selection

      Sample, prepare and perform cork quality control, including sensory analysis, for lot selection

      Create cork sensory report summary

      Maintain relationship with cork suppliers

      Prepare cork purchase orders

      Track “corked” bottles from tasting room



      Update sustainability documents

      Investigate potential areas of improvement

      Organize audits



      BS in Fermentation Science or related science field

      Experience with lab equipment and research methodology

      At least 3 years of wine industry experience, including hands-on laboratory experience

      Good Excel skills

      Accuracy and attention to detail

      Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects

      Ability to function independently


Compensation and Benefits:  This is a full-time, hourly position.  During harvest and other times of peak activity there will be overtime hours.  Benefits include healthcare, dental, life insurance, 401K plan with company match and possible subsidized company housing.


About WineTalent:  WineTalent is a wine industry focused recruitment company. We work closely with our clients and our job seekers to find the right fit of talents, experience and work environment. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.


Please email resume and all inquiries to amy@winetalent.net