Where to start?

I have one goal: make my way in the wine business
I’m a hard worker, I’m young, I have all the time in the world, and I have no problems with starting at the very bottom. I also seem to have a few connections to guys in the biz who are well established. But even with those connections I don’t know if they’ll be able to get me started.

What’s the best path to establishing experience in the wine making industry? School? Grunt work? Free labor? Just knowing the right people? Having the right parents? Does it help to be a certified forklift driver? Does it help to own a pickup truck?

Looking for any advice or pointers.


As a disclaimer, I am not in the wine business…… but I would suggest that if you are not living in a wine region or a large urban area that you move to one of those places. There are a lot of sommeliers in Las Vegas. You could move there, get a job at a nice restaurant and start studying for the sommelier test. Once you pass the test and had some experience, a number of options would then be available to you.

If you want to do a harvest internship, there are always plenty to be had. If you want to work permanently in winemaking, run as fast as you can. The industry is so over saturated right now, every permanent job out there gets 150-200 resumes submitted.

Plenty of intro wine jobs during harvest. Check out Winejobs.com.

For networking, get a job at a wine retail shop, then network with suppliers visiting your shop, and find a way to work a harvest intern position, then move onward and upward from there. That’s how it’s done these days. Pay your dues, and you’ll be part of the biz.

Good luck!

As a new poster, and someone who had some of the same questions as the OP, thanks for the answers guys!