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Winemaker


  • Alto Vineyards
  • 11/23/22
  • Alto Pass, IL
  • 62905
  • commensurate with region / Yearly
  • Full-Time
Alto Vineyards and Winery is a third-generation family-owned winery seeking a full-time winemaker for our annual 25,000-gallon operation. As the oldest winery in our region, we are the most award-winning and celebrated winery in the rural southern-most part of Illinois. We have crafted a wide range of award-winning French hybrid wines that include the 22 wines we currently offer. In addition to the production facility, our estate includes a nine-acre vineyard of French American grapes, pavilion, gazebo and 5000 square feet tasting room with an upper wine deck that overlooks the scenic Shawnee Hills. We have artfully designed and hosted events that focus on our community and capitalize on our facility and the natural beauty of our area. In addition to our primary tasting room in Alto Pass, we have a tasting room in Champaign, Illinois that serves the central part of the state, and we have a partnership with family members in Australia who established Renzaglia Wines in Bathhurst (https://renzagliawines.com.au).

As one of the founding members of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Alto Vineyards was instrumental in the establishment of a burgeoning wine region that now includes eleven wineries. The wine trail extends over forty miles and is a flourishing tourist attraction in Illinois and neighboring states. Southern Illinois University Carbondale is 12 miles away and has a Fermentation Institute for consultation and services. Southern Illinois offers the opportunity for winemakers to network and continually strive to raise the bar of Illinois wines. This position gives the ideal candidate the ability to continue producing the wines that have made us successful, and presents opportunities to expand wine production and type.

Summary
This is a supervisory level position that oversees all activities in the creation of our wines, from grape selection through vintage release, and monitors and maintains their quality and integrity throughout.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Oversee and participate in all aspects directly related to winemaking:
o Plan production quantities with manager production crew.
o Coordinate pick dates with vineyard manager.
o Coordinate harvest day operations in the winery.
o Coordinate delivery of fruit or juice from others.
o Perform chemical analysis on wines and conduct all lab work. Wet lab is located on-site and at the SIUC Fermentation Institute.
o Conduct all stages of wine production including fermentations and filtrations.
o Create blends for and coordinate tastings trials.
o Coordinate bottling and labeling of wines.
o Supervise production staff.
o Coordinate wholesale orders.

Oversee and participate in all aspects generally related to winemaking:
o Keep a safe, clean, organized production area.
o Keep state and federal records, as well as required in-house records.
Remain up-to-date on all compliance issues related to winemaking.
o Order and maintain inventory of supplies related to winemaking.
o Obtain TTB Formula and COLA approvals.
o Maintain all winery equipment and systems.
Work to become on-site specialist for these systems.

Other duties include, but are not limited to:
o Maintain an already strong relationship with the SIUC Fermentation Institute and our other industry partners.
o Provide expertise on:
Purchasing new equipment when needed.
Grape variety, clone and rootstock choices for planting.
New winemaking practices.
o Coordinate entries to wine competitions.
o Act as brand representative.
Treat visitors in the production area with respect.
o Conduct tours and serve as a PR person regarding winemaking activities.
o Communicate with our sister winery in Australia as needed.

Qualifications:
Experience with American, French hybrid, Vinifera, and fruit wines.
Strong work ethic, willing to work long hours during harvest and bottling. (Vacation time not available during these peak periods.)
1-3 years experience preferred.
Enology degree preferred.
Experience with MS Office Suite. Strong Excel skills preferred.
Able to lift 50lbs.
Able to work with a small team in a supportive and positive atmosphere.

Compensation:
Commensurate with mid-western industry standards, and work experience.

Commencement:
As soon as possible, but not after May 15, 2022.

To apply, please email the following and arrange to have 2 references sent to records.alto@gmail.com. Please put Winemaker position in the subject line.

o Cover letter describing you interest and qualifications
o Resume

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