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 Filed as : Wine TipsWinemaking

Want to Work at a Winery?

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  • Publish Date: Jun 7, 2010

Want to Work at a Winery?
Words to live by to survive in the cellar.

Admit it, you've probably seen a few too many movies like A Good Year or Bottle Shock, and concluded that working at a winery would be a great life. No more annoying bosses, broken water coolers or hearing about the fax covers on your TPS reports. Winemaking is all about kicking back, stomping some fruit and having a grand old time, right? If that's what you think, Mary Baker, the former managing partner of Dover Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, Calif., has just six words for you: Be careful what you wish for.

Securing a winery job--and thriving at it--takes focus, intelligence, determination, open-mindedness and a willingness to learn. Actually, it takes about 50 things, which Baker has conveniently organized in her new guide 50 Tips for Cellar Rats: How to Get (and Keep) a Great Job as a Winery Cellar Rat or Harvest Intern. You can download the helpful guide here for just $6, or buy a print version for $8.

The guide is packed with simple, easy-to-read information that you can absorb in less than hour: Everything from what sorts of food and drinks to stock up on for the busy harvest season to how to be clean and efficient on the job to when to speak up--or keep your mouth shut. Many of us here at The Daily Sip wish we'd had such a crash course before our first winery jobs--it'd have prevented some serious drama, not to mention some property damage.

If you've worked at a winery or know someone who has, we'd love to hear your war stories--and what sort of help you wish you had before that first day plucking leaves under the hot sun, cleaning an endless row of tanks or stacking bottles on the line. Share your experiences here.

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Jun 7, 2010
Remember the episode with Lucille Ball and Ethel stomping the grapes?  Yeah, I did that last year at a local Virginia winery "for fun."  I knew then that I liked writing about wine more than I liked helping to make it.... and definitely like drinking it more.

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Jun 7, 2010
I worked the harvest at Villa Monteleone in the Valpolicella, Italy almost 10 years ago. I got laughed out of the winery when I asked if there was a gym nearby. After 12 hour days in the fields and moving around grapes to be stored in the warehouse to dry out to make Amarone, the idea of an additional workout was comical.

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