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Title Harvest Intern
Employer Checkerboard Vineyards
Employment Location 4331 Azalea Springs Way, Calistoga, CA 94515
Company Description Checkerboard Vineyards is a small, privately-owned estate located on Diamond Mountain in Calistoga, CA. Renowned Winemaker Martha McClellan oversees the vineyard and winemaking programs at Checkerboard. Prior to applying for this harvest internship please read about our winery at
Type Internship
Pay Scale DOE
Employment Start Date Mid August
Employment End Date End of November (possibly later)
Job Description The Harvest Intern will be a key member of the winemaking and vineyard team throughout the harvest period. The Intern will be involved in pre-harvest vineyard data collection and observation, preparation of winery for harvest, fruit receiving/sorting, and comprehensive cellar and winemaking work. The candidate must be passionate about working with high-caliber wine and eager to learn within an established framework of vineyard and winemaking protocol to be strictly adhered to. One to three harvest experiences in hands-on wineries focused on small lot fermentations is preferred, athough training on our protocol will be provided regardless of experience level. If your background is in larger wineries, you must have a strong interest in artisanal and meticulous winemaking and articulate such in your application.


• Maintain impeccable cleanliness of winery, equipment, and fermentation vessels.
• Open and close new barrels for barrel fermentation.
• Prepare winery for pick days: assemble sorting line equipment, clean and sanitize tanks and sorting line, organize picking bins, and assist in logistics at pick site.
• Act as a strong support for grape reception and sorting: unload pallets of fruit from trailer, accurately record fruit weight data and complete harvest forms, promptly move pallets inside cave awaiting sorting, count and weigh clusters, supervise fruit sorting quality and belt speeds, and weigh MOG bins at lot changeovers.
• Carry out bleeds, sulfur additions, and dry-icing of new lots.
• Complete timely pump overs and barrel rolls, track brix and temperature of fermentations, record data in lot folders, prepare and make wine additions, and maintain impeccable cleanliness of winery and work areas.
• Coordinate and assist in the supervision of staff on the late/night shift.
• Drain tanks and barrels, barrel down, and press lots after fermentation.


• Carry out pre-harvest pressure bomb readings throughout the vineyard to assist in irrigations.
• Count clusters, shoots, and weigh clusters of all blocks for crop estimates.
• Conduct detailed berry sampling according to specific winemaker specification. Crush and analyze the samples and record data.
• Assist Vineyard Manger with executing picks.
• Partake in ranch or vineyard projects as needed.


• Exceptionally high level of care and attention to detail at all times.
• Uncompromising work ethic.
• An obsessive level of cleanliness when it comes to working with wine.
• The ability to maintain focus and attention to detail while working long hours on your feet.
• Education: HS Diploma or equivalent is required. BS in Enology and Viticulture or some education in wine and vine is preferred.
• Experience: 1-3 harvests in hands-on wineries is recommended. If your experience is in larger outfits, please explain your interest in working at a place like Checkerboard in your application.
Contact Info Please e-mail resume and brief message of intent to e-mail below.
Contact Address 4331 Azalea Springs Way Calistoga, CA 94515
Contact Phone 7079424112
Contact Fax 7079424112
Contact E-mail
Contact Website

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