Production Manager & Head Winemaker (Wine Jobs: Vineyards & Cellars )

Full Time

  Southwest Mountains Vineyards, LLC. (

  Charlottesville, Virginia

Production Manager & Head Winemaker – Southwest Mountains Vineyards

Job Description

August 2022


Southwest Mountains Vineyards is a first-generation family-owned winery seeking a full-time winemaker for our annual 10,000+ case operation. This position gives the ideal candidate the ability to continue producing the wines that have made us successful, and presents the unique opportunity to develop finely crafted, premium estate grown vinifera wines to be added to our wine portfolio. Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Petit Manseng and Gruner have been planted since 2016 and total more than 80 acres on three estate properties. Additional Chardonnay will be planted in 2023 for a Sparkling wine collection. A brand-new 19,745 sq. ft. state of the art production facility has just started construction on the property and will be completed in 2023. A new world class 12,458 sq. ft. Tasting Room will also be located on the property and open to the public in 2023.


Downtown Charlottesville is located 15 minutes from the winery. There is an Amtrak Station allowing easy access to Washington DC and New York City. Charlottesville Airport is a 25-minute drive and Dulles International Airport is roughly 90 minutes away. Charlottesville is a fabulous city complete with stellar culinary dining choices, art galleries, performing arts, sporting events at the University of Virginia, music venues, not to mention a full array of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, watersports, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.


As an emerging wine region, Virginia and the Monticello AVA offer the opportunity to network with other local winemakers who continually strive to raise the bar for Virginia wines.


Job Description:

Utilize top quality winemaking techniques to manage all aspects of production for a 10,000+ case vineyard through bottling, including the management of all regulatory compliance.


Wine Production: 

•Oversee and conduct all stages of wine production, including crushing, pressing, fermentations, filtrations, racking, barreling, topping, labeling, and bottling. 

•Manage resources of the production staff to ensure all needs are met with in-house labor force.

•Utilize innovative approaches, leading technology in winemaking techniques and production practices that elevate the characteristics of our vineyard sites and optimize maximum quality outcomes. 

•Perform chemical analysis on wines and conduct all lab work. Lab to be located on-site.

•Collaborate with the executive and production teams to plan and produce a portfolio of wines that meet quality goals, sales projections, and strategic objectives. Plan production quantities with GM.

•Assume responsibility for inventory management of all wine, supplies, and materials, including physical inventory needed for compliance and accounting. 

•Direct management and maintenance of the barrel program; process and properly maintain/store in-process wines.

•Maintain winery equipment and systems and keep in-house state and federal records.

Vineyard Management: 

•Perform routine fruit quality and maturation assessment on all estate sites. Execution of pick date decisions with the cellar and vineyard team. 

•Responsible for collaborating with vineyard management company on all decisions related to maintaining our agricultural acreage and all matters associated with production quality. 

•Control labor costs associated with the winery and vineyard management; costs to not exceed annual budgeted labor without prior approval from GM. 

•Provide an environment where teams are respected, supported, and appreciated. 

•Uphold all Department of Labor and USDA standards.

•Organize transit fruit from other vineyard sites under the SMV umbrella. 

•Select grape variety, clone, and rootstock for new plantings.

Marketing and Public Relations: 

•Collaborate with the marketing team to educate on attributes and unique characteristics of SMV wines. Additionally, keep the hospitality team abreast of all vineyard happenings. 

•Provide detailed descriptive features of SMV wines to be used by the marketing team in marketing.

•As a member of the Brand Ambassador Team, a subject matter expert, and the face of the SMV brand, the winemaker will occasionally be expected to attend or make an appearance at special events, tastings, property tours, industry networking engagements and meet with press if requested.

•Interact with our distributors and travel intermittently with the distributor’s sales force for the purpose of educating on our portfolio of wines. 

•Coordinate with the marketing team entries to wine competitions.

Administrative & Miscellaneous: 

•Prepare the annual budget for production and vineyard activities in tandem with GM, executive team, and accounting. 

•Improve wine margin by frequently analyzing the cost of production and vineyard activities. 

•Deliver a timeline of bottling activities so that a release calendar is shared with appropriate staff.

•Adhere to all CAPEX expenditures in the annual budget; purchases approved by GM

•Manage all submissions and approval of wine labels with TTB and ABC and obtain COLA approvals.

•Oversee Quality Control/Quality Assurance protocols ensuring compliance with all agencies that have relevance to the production and vineyard operations (FDA, OSHA, VA ABC, DOLI etc.)

•Ensure all training and safety materials are up to date and easily accessible. 

•Maintain open communications with owners keeping them abreast of high-level topics.

•Maintain clean and organized production and vineyard buildings. All spaces should be appropriately maintained for tours and visitation from ownership. 

Qualifications & Experience Requirements:

•5-year winemaking experience with at least 3-year leadership role in a winery producing 6,000+ cases yearly and a proven track record of producing premium wines.

•Degree in Enology, Chemistry, or related field preferred.

•Experience with both the practical and technical aspects of the winemaking process and understanding of winemaking regulatory requirements. Includes all aspects of harvest, fermentation, cellar work, winemaking analysis and bottling logistics and legalities.

•Strong work ethic, willing to work long hours during harvest and bottling. (Vacation time not available during these peak periods.)

•Experience with MS Office Suite, Excel, excellent math skills, strong recordkeeping as well as the ability to learn other related computer programs and databases, like Vintrace are key.

•Able to lift and 50lbs; work on and around ladders, catwalks, uneven flooring, in hot, cold, and wet environments: with typical winery chemical exposure and conditions.

•Able to work with a team in a supportive and positive atmosphere, strong organizational, teambuilding, problem solving skills, attention to detail, with ability to multi-task.


As soon as possible, but can be flexible.

To apply, please e-mail the following to [email protected]


Southwest Mountains Vineyards provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.


Commensurate with Mid-Atlantic industry standards, and work experience.

Follow this button to apply for this job posting

Wine & Restaurant Jobs in the USA. Looking for a job or hiring new employees in the wine & restaurant industry? Wine Jobs USA - The job site for the wine & restaurant industry throughout the US. Find ads for jobs in the wine industry, from winemaking to wine sales jobs.

Employers and Recruiters - Attract the best candidates for your employment opportunities. Post your ads for hospitality and wine industry jobs on

Job Seekers - Find jobs in restaurants and wine including restaurant jobs, winery jobs, wine sales reps, winemakers, Sommelier jobs and more. Job seekers, sign up to receive wine and restaurant job postings by email.