2019 Harvest Winemaking Internship
Checkerboard Vineyards is a luxury wine estate, located on the southeast facing slope of Diamond Mountain in Calistoga, with 25 acres under vine is seeking an experienced intern to help make world class wine for the 2019 harvest. We are a small, passionate, and diligent winemaking and vineyard team that focuses on the production of luxury wine from the estate vineyards. We focus on the traditional varieties of Bordeaux to produce both single estate vineyard bottlings and proprietary blends.
$16 - $20 DOE
Nov 30, 2019
Working harvest is a whole-body experience that requires a labor of love – due to extended hours of physical and mental work. We seek dynamic individuals that are meticulous, responsible, have a great attitude, strong work ethic, a good sense of humor, and most importantly the ability to communicate clearly. This is a great opportunity to work closely with the winemaking team to see all the aspects of hands-on winemaking. The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a wide array of vineyard, cellar, and lab essential duties, including, but not limited to:
• Daily cleaning and sanitation - maintain impeccable cleanliness of winery, cave equipment, fermentation vessels and lab equipment.
• Barrel work - Cleaning, steaming, painting and repair. Open and close new barrels for barrel fermentations.
• Prepare winery for pick days: assemble sorting line equipment, clean and sanitize tanks and sorting line, organize picking bins, and assist in logistics at pick site.
• Act as a strong support for grape reception and sorting: unload pallets of fruit from trailer, accurately record fruit weight data and complete harvest forms, promptly move pallets inside cave awaiting sorting, count and weigh clusters, supervise fruit sorting quality and belt speeds, and weigh MOG bins at lot changeovers.
• Perform timely pump overs and barrel rolls, daily brix and temperature tracking of fermentations, record data in lot folders, prepare and make yeast inoculations, nutrient additions or subtractions, SO2 additions, and more cleaning.
• Coordinate and assist in the supervision of temp staff on the late/night shift.
• Drain, racking and barreling down wines.
• Pull samples for testing or tasting, and familiarity with a WineScan for sample analysis is huge plus.
Carry out pre-harvest pressure bomb readings throughout the vineyard to assist in irrigations.
• Count clusters, shoots, and weigh clusters of all blocks for crop estimates.
• Conduct detailed berry sampling according to specific winemaker specification. Crush and analyze the samples and record data.
• Assist Vineyard Management contractor with executing picks.
• Partake in ranch or vineyard projects as assigned.
• Under direction of the winemaking team, perform vineyard, winemaking and lab related tasks.
• Education: Bachelor’s degree in Viticulture and Enology or closely related field.
• Basic math, reading and writing skills that you should have learned in the above degree attainment.
• Previous Experience: Preferred 2-3 harvests in small, hands-on wineries with some international experience a huge plus. Nothing against those looking to cut their teeth in the wine industry by working their first vintage, we just prefer someone with previous experience.
• Operation of forklift, pallet jacks, and all-terrain mules.
• Familiarity with Microsoft Office
• Team player, reliable, self-motivated, organized, and capable of strong communication.
• Passion for viticulture and winemaking
• Positive attitude
• The ability to maintain focus and attention to detail while working long hours on your feet.
• With a small production team, we require an individual who can think critically, wear multiple hats, multitask effectively, and not need constant supervision.
• An obsessive level of cleanliness when it comes to working with wine.
• Forklift driving experience
• Mechanically inclined
• Ability to climb stairs, walk extensively, and lift 50 lbs, Requires the ability to work while sitting, bending, twisting, squatting, pushing, puling, reaching overhead, kneeling and walking over uneven surfaces for prolonged periods of time.
• Must read, write and speak English. Conversant in Spanish is a huge plus.
• Valid driver’s license and a reliable method of transportation to and from work.
• Authorized to work in the US.
• Ability to work long hours and on weekends as necessary (regular 6-day schedule during the peak of harvest.)
• We do not provide housing or transportation.
The above information is representative of the work performed in this position; however, it is not all-inclusive. The omission of a specific duty or responsibility does not exclude it from the position if the work is similar or related to the essential duties and responsibilities.
The interviewing process for this position is scheduled to start soon and the start date is flexible for the right candidate and runs through the end of November. Given the seasonal nature of the position, start and end dates may be adjusted as the year progresses.