Wine Industry Roles Uncovered

Napa Wine Industry

Interested in getting into the wine industry but confused about all of that vocabulary? Here’s our guide on some of the important roles that turn those grapes into wine and bottle them up for you to uncork at your dinner table!


Winemakers are the center of the whole operation. They’re in charge of picking which grapes to grow, monitoring the grapes’ progress, determining the maturation period and bottling process, overseeing the staff and managing relations with distributors. They’re your go to person in command.

Vineyard managers

Vineyard managers are more involved in the nitty-gritty agricultural process. They need to be in contact with the winemaker to coordinate timelines. They oversee planting, irrigation, pruning and harvesting. They also train new field workers and are responsible for agricultural compliance.


How much do you know about making wine? One thing you probably have heard is that wine sits in wooden barrels during fermentation. The people that produce these barrels are called coopers. This is a complicated process that requires 5 years of apprenticeship before the cooper apprentice gets promoted to a cooper. Many are not interested in the physical toll that the job requires but it is essential to the wine process and is in high demand.


An importer must be a people person. They are the ones that cultivate relationships within the United States from foreign vineyards. They are licensed professionals that can bring wine into the US from their country. They also are responsible for the branding of the wine in the U.S.


Distributors also carry licenses and are the in-between from the importer to the retailer. They purchase wholesale from the importer and then redistribute to liquor stores, grocery stores, etc.


Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the jobs in the wine industry. It just gives you an idea of some of the positions. If you’re interested in learning more, we have partnerships with wine makers, warehouses, manufacturers and distributors and would love to get you connected with your next position today.


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