Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Winemaker | Heron Bluff Vineyard & Winery | Benton City, WA

Posted by kaury.balcom | June 30, 2022

Heron Bluff Vineyard and Winery is named for the Great Blue Herons that return each spring to the on-site rookery located in the tall trees near the massive basalt bluffs on the north boundary of this majestic vineyard location. The rich volcanic soils and fractured basalt of the estate soils provide unmatched minerality and flavor to the fruit produced on these southwest facing slopes using sustainable vineyard practices. Heron Bluff Vineyard and Winery is located 3 miles west of Red Mountain with 18 acres of vineyard overlooking the Yakima River. We are a relatively new facility first planting and building the winery in 2016 with plans to average about 2500 cases per vintage. We are preparing to open a new tasting room this summer. We are looking for a new member to this team where we take our estate fruit through the entire wine making process from vine to bottle. The successful candidate will possess a positive team attitude and be willing to approach any task a small business environment provides. 

This position is filled by someone dependable, positive, willing to learn, and communicates well with good organizational skills. This candidate is expected to maintain good cellar cleanliness and organization, as well as keep up with day-to-day operations. Having a working knowledge of winery operations/flow is crucial and good time management is essential for candidate success. This is a great opportunity for someone interested in learning all aspects of operating a vineyard and winery from someone with decades of mentoring experience.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • AA degree or 4+ years industry experience in winemaking and viticulture. Prior education in V & E, chemistry or another relevant field
  • Knowledge of vineyards, vineyard sampling, basic ripeness tests
  • Knowledge of all winery operations and equipment
  • Knowledge of chemical analysis and various winery tests (pH, T.A., FSO2, etc.) and how to conduct them in a wine lab setting
  • Certified forklift operator (or an ability to obtain) • Experience with all forms of winery equipment (pumps, compressed gasses, filters, press, destemmer, etc.) as well as a knowledge of how they work and how to clean and maintain them.
  • Good communication skills, positive attitude toward self and others
  • Able to train and supervise new staff • Valid driver’s license • Ability to lift 60+ lbs. repeatedly
  • Ability to work extended hours during harvest in all types of weather • Participates in and carries out short-term and long-term planning of cellar work

Additional Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bottling line work experience
  • Washington M.A.S.T. permit (or ability to obtain) and food handlers permit
  • useful Interpersonal skills require working with others in a cooperative, not confrontational attitude, showing patience but requiring accountability, and not letting egos get in the way of progress. This person also works closely with the owners and tasting room staff, helps assemble the wine club shipments, and is expected to understand the needs of administration and marketing.
  • This person is responsible for ensuring that production labor is used efficiently, maintaining high standards of cleanliness, and the organization and storage of supplies and equipment.
  • Candidate must be able to provide own transportation
  • must be eligible for employment in the U.S. and must be available to work non-traditional hours for crush during all types of weather.
  • This candidate will also be required to work in the tasting room, with the public at trade and tasting events both at the winery and on the road. Staffing at Spring Release Weekend, Holiday Barrel Tasting, and wine club events will be required.
  • During slow times in production, the staff will assist others with general maintenance both indoors and outdoors.

Compensation and wage based on experience

If interested please provide a resume to Eric Hoppe at ew_hoppe@yahoo.com