Just picture it: after a long day of exhilarating work, you end (or celebrate) the day with a glass of Shiraz overlooking the vineyards. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the wine is coursing through your veins. More and more people are pursuing wine jobs so they can live exactly this dream.
Well keep dreaming. This is not really an accurate description for working at a winery – unless you are in Italy – but that doesn't mean that the job at a winery has to remain a dream. The wine industry in the U.S. has continued to expand despite the slowing economy, which is exciting news for the winery job seekers.
Many states now have begun to jump on the wine bandwagon, with many adding wineries. Some corporate wineries simply import the grapes they need to produce the wines if they are unable to grow them in their own regions. So, depending on your current location, you may or may not need to relocate to land your dream gig at a winery.
Further, wineries are starting to recognize the success that comes with having a tasting room. For job seekers, this means additional entry level jobs for you to apply! Working at a winery can consist of either the actual wine-making, working within the tasting room, or even working in an administrative capacity for the winery.
However, let's break down some of the easy tips to follow your dream job to a winery.
1. Figure out the requirements of your dream position. If you want to help with the wine-making process, there may be educational requirements or a need for previous experience before obtaining a job. If you are trying to get a job in the tasting room, you may just need to show previous customer service experience and a passion for wine.
2. Research to find local wineries or use national wine job search boards. Many fabulous resources can be found simply be doing an internet search on wine jobs; the only disclaimer is that many of these jobs posted will typically be located in the main U.S. wine areas. If you are looking locally, make sure to do a local internet search or look through the yellow pages.
3. Update your resume and brush up on the interviewing skills! Treat this just like any other job hunt you have done in the past. Make sure your resume is representative of what they will be seeking for your position. In other words, if you are looking to score the tasting room associate position, make sure your resume highlights your customer service skills and wine background.
4. Don't have a wine background? Start taking the steps to obtain one! Online courses can give you the basic wine knowledge necessary to work at many wineries or wine retail shops, but before you purchase an education, talk with the hiring manager to see what they are looking for.
A job or a career at a winery can be very promising and fulfilling, but depending on the desired position, it can require years of commitment before even being able to apply for the job. And if there are no wineries in the nearby area, it will require you to relocate. While California and Washington wineries are typically in beautiful areas with temperate climates, it may not be conducive if you have a family or other obligations. The bottom line and final piece of advice is to make sure that the dream of a job at a winery can truly fit into the reality of the road to it. While working at a winery is a dream career for many, it is certainly not a one size fits all type of career.