There are lots of different kinds of jobs in the wine industry that vary for those that want to work in hospitality to those who want to really get their hands dirty learning all there is to know about wine creation and making a career out of it. Here are some examples of jobs in the wine industry and a quick snapshot about what these people do:
- Viticulture – For those that love the outdoors and are passionate about agriculture and wine, then a career in viticulture is perfect. A professional viticulturist has received an advanced degree (attainable through Cal Poly) and can decide what kind of grape varieties to plant, manage irrigation and/or pests, and decide when to harvest the grapes. Types of jobs in viticulture include a vineyard manager and director of viticulture.
- Enology – Also referred to as oenology, this type of role understands the science behind making a good wine. A pro enologist understands fermentation processes and knows more about wine microbiology than the average person. This role goes hand in hand with viticulture and one usually must possess an advanced degree to get hired. Types of jobs in this field include being a vineyard manager or winemaker.
- Sales & Marketing – After the whole prohibition phase, legislators refined alcohol sales laws to limit the access and control of wine distribution. Therefore, a 3-tier system was set up to require a winery to use a distributor to its product out to the masses. Being a wine distributor can bring in a lucrative income if you’re good at it, but it’s tough to break into the market because there is a lot of competition. Wineries in San Luis Obispo also need help with marketing, like in designing advertising materials, managing wine club programs, and handling social media.
- Hospitality and Education – Due to that 3-tier system, there are only a few positions where wine enthusiasts interact directly with the consumer. Since wine consumers tend to be loyal to the brands that they feel a strong connection with, it’s important for a wine tasting associate to be personable and knowledgeable about how, why and where its wine is produced. Because of this and trying to create a memorable experience for its guests, wineries put a lot of effort into their tasting rooms and wine clubs. Popular roles in this sector include tasting room hosts and managers, tour guides, wine educators, event managers, and wine club ecommerce managers.
San Luis Obispo is a hotbed of wineries and educational opportunities which always offers a way to learn and grow in the industry. Tasting room associate positions are now available, but if you are really passionate about wine and want to advance, we recommend enrolling at Cal Poly and pursuing its Wine and Viticulture program. The possibilities of what you can do are endless in the wine industry.
As of April 5, 2017, SLO wine businesses that are hiring tasting room attendants include
Most positions require you to be at least 21 years of age and have some hospitality experience. Visit their websites to learn more.