Thursday, August 20, 2020

WineTalent Classifieds: Viticulturist in the Salinas Valley

WineTalent is working with our client, Scheid Family Wines, to find a Viticulturist to manage the company’s vineyard farming and viticulture practices. 
About the Company:  Scheid Family Wines is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery with 11 estate vineyards on over 4,000 acres in the Salinas Valley.  Scheid Family Wines is committed to farming the highest quality grapes.  All of the vineyards are certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
About the Position:  The Viticulturist manages the Scheid Family Wines vineyard farming and viticulture practices. The Viticulturist collaborates and works closely with vineyard management and the viticulture team. This individual will utilize their technical viticulture expertise and solid agricultural techniques to promote vine health and sustainability, crop yield and the quality of the fruit that is produced. The Viticulturist maintains and continues to develop Scheid Family Wines’ commitment to sustainable farming practices.

  • Manage the Scheid Family Wines (SFW) vineyard farming and viticulture practices including the following:
  • Establish and manage mechanical based precision viticulture programs and farming
  • Collaborate on the planning and budgeting, implement the plan and manage the costs
  • Oversee pruning, tying, shoot thinning, shoot positioning, trellis and canopy manipulation, suckering, weed control, cultivation, crop estimation, crop thinning, irrigation scheduling, nutrition, pest and fungicide management and harvest coordination
  • Coordinate and implement training and education for ranch managers and vineyard labor force regarding education of basic viticulture, mechanical farming, and precision agriculture techniques
  • Active member of the viticulture team providing input from core competencies such as vine nutrition, pest management and other inputs that strengthen the team’s approach to farming decisions.
  • Develop and implement nutrition programs and validate results through petiole analysis and other diagnostic processes
  • Collaborate with viticulture and technology teams to establish data flows in a Precision Agriculture management setting, turning data into action
  • Support key seasonal data collection efforts, including crop estimations
  • Continued development of the viticulture program documents
  • Develop and implement pest prevention programs including soil borne pests, mealy bugs, mites, leaf hopper, fungicides, Botrytis, Eutypa and other related diseases
  • Manage trial blocks and experimental varieties and techniques
  • Trial blocks for quality enhancements
  • Nutrition trials and all trials that are advancing wine quality
  • Work directly with the winemaking team in establishment of specific wine quality needs relative to mechanical viticulture and precision agriculture.

  • BS or MA Degree in viticulture, plant science, horticulture, agronomy or related discipline
  • 3 to 5 years viticulture experience or combination with directly related vineyard experience
  • Experience with vineyard operations, farming, or related agricultural experience a plus

  • PCA license or ability to gain a PCA license within the first 12 months preferred
  • Demonstrated solid knowledge of viticulture practices
  • Strong partnering skills and ability to work with a team
  • Computer skills including MS Office, and practical competence with agriculture-oriented computer applications
  • Rudimentary understanding of winemaking to assist with understanding winegrowing goals and fruit/wine quality grading
  • Ability to work overtime (extended hours and weekends) as required
  • Ability to understand any and all safety requirements
  • Clean DMV record

  • This is a full-time, salaried position.
  • Competitive compensation depending on experience plus benefits including medical, dental and 401K

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  

WineTalent:  The Right People for the Job

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

WineTalent Classifieds: Estate Director for Luxury Santa Barbara Winery

 WineTalent is working with our Santa Barbara Winery Client to find an Estate Director.

About the company: WineTalent’s client is a luxury estate winery producing highly sought-after wines from a highly regarded AVA. The winery has a stellar team including an estate Vineyard Manager, Winemaker and a world-renowned consulting winemaker. Join the team in an important role that is integral to the success of the winery. 

About the opportunity: WineTalent is seeking an Estate Director to oversee the sales and marketing of the business to increase the brand awareness with consumers and trade professionals.


  • Provide day-to-day and longer-term general management leadership to the business.
  • Lead the sales and marketing activities to position the brand in the luxury product arena.
  • Accountable for winery's revenue, expenses and profitability.
  • Oversee marketing initiatives to ensure increased customer engagement including winery visits, wine club membership and wine purchases.
  • Manage wholesale sales including strategic initiatives.
  • Emphasize direct trade selling with all staff.
  • Manage outsourced consultants in digital, social marketing and content development.
  • Create routine and specific reporting to keep ownership engaged with business developments and performance.
  • Ensure sales and marketing plans match production levels and budgeted revenue generation.
  • Consistently deliver high touch consumer engagement across all channels.
  • Management of human and financial resources.

What the Job Requires:

  • Senior level management experience in a wine focused business.
  • At least 3 years of winery experience in a management, hospitality, and marketing role.
  • Bachelor's degree in Business, Finance, Communications, Marketing or related is strongly preferred. Work history in lieu of a degree will also be considered.
  • Extensive wine business experience to create successful plans, budgets, forecasts and initiatives for the winery.
  • Thorough understanding of DTC and wholesale sales channels.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Proven personnel management to ensure collaborative team environment.
  • Luxury product and/or lifestyle marketing experience.

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.

WineTalent: The Right People for the Job

All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential

To apply please email your resume to   

Friday, August 7, 2020

When Living in the Era of COVID, Pack a Picnic

Everything I do now is premeditated.  If I'm planning to go to the store. I have to think about what hours are the least crowded, what I need, is there anything I need to stock up on, and do I have a mask?  If I want to go for a hike I have to think about things like when are the fewest people on the trail, do I need a mask, do I have a snack and water since any snack bar or kiosk may be closed?  And don't even get me started on public bathrooms.  I'm really tired from having to think through all these small details before I do anything.  It's enough to keep me home.  BUT I NEED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!  

Being in the wine world, marketing has often shown beautiful people enjoying picnics in the vineyards.  Companies in wine country specialize in making and delivering gourmet picnic baskets for tourists to enjoy at the location of their choice.  Having picnicking spots has made some wineries hugely successful (especially this one in the Napa Valley).  

Reading Julia Child's autobiography, My Life In France, she and her husband, Paul, greatly enjoyed packing a picnic basket and a thermos of coffee before heading out over the French countryside for the day.  And their picnic was often accompanied by a nice bottle of wine.  Thinking of Julia and Paul relaxing along a waterway or near a beautiful old castle has been seared into my mind for years.  

Having worked from home for over 16 years now, during my lunch break I often watch cooking shows.  Years ago Michael Chiarello had his Easy Entertaining cooking show on Food Network.  I caught his Biking Picnic, and learned how to make a delicious grilled chicken sandwich to throw in my bike's pannier for a roadside picnic.  For years I made the sandwich, thinking of having a bike picnic.  When life gives me a pandemic, I pack my picnic basket. 

To GET OUT OF THE HOUSE I've been coordinating cycling trips with my pod posse.  My friends and I synchronize our watches and all show up at a predetermined spot early the next morning.  Unloading bikes, getting sunblocked and then clicking shoes into our pedals, we are soon exploring new areas.  This cycling posse has turned into a great group of friends who all enjoy getting out in the sunshine and seeing new sights.  They are also all good conversationalists, a bonus when pedaling together for a few hours.  

Cycling in the era of a pandemic has meant that afterwards we can't stop by the local cafe or brewery to grab lunch and a cold drink.  Here's where the picnic comes in.  We all bring something to contribute and bring out our coolers after the ride.  We've been enjoying submarine sandwiches, lavash rolled sandwiches, muffins, fresh fruit and cookies.  Washing those down with a cold local brew really makes the meal.  Being outside on a picnic blanket with friends, socially distanced, makes this pandemic a bit easier to digest.  

I'm finding that picnicking really scratches that communal dining itch I've been suffering from these days.  I hope you go get yourself a pic-a-nic basket sometime soon.