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A vineyard manager relies on his knowledge of the wine-making industry as he oversees the day-to-day operations at a vineyard or winery. These professionals not only manage the viticultural process of growing grapes and transforming them into wine, but also handle business tasks like budgeting and record keeping. A vineyard manager must hire staff and train them to successfully work in the vineyard. Finally, he must be prepared to interact with the public during tours, wine tastings, and other events.
One of the most important responsibilities of any vineyard manager is overseeing the grape growing process. These professionals develop a site plan that determines where grapes should be grown and harvested each year. The vineyard manager manages the pruning process, which is critical to achieving the required yield. He combines different varieties of grapes to achieve the desired flavor, and works to provide these grapes with the nutrients they need to fully develop. The vineyard manager must be well-versed in the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals used in the wine making process.
Vineyard managers evaluate potential staff members and decide who to hire to help the vineyard meet its production and sales goals. They also train these staff to perform their duties, and help to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place to protect employees as they work. A vineyard manager is responsible for tracking employee hours and handling payroll in addition to standard human resources tasks.
These professionals may also oversee the business aspect of the vineyard in addition to their work in the field. A vineyard manager can manage money and maintain the company budget on behalf of the owner. He performs basic bookkeeping and accounting tasks, and maintains all required business records either on a computer or in paper form. Managers also take care of ordering necessary materials and equipment and making sure the vendors of these items are paid in a timely fashion.
At vineyards that are open to the public, the manager spends a great deal of time interacting with guests. He may lead winery tours or host tasting events. A vineyard manager is often expected to represent the business at local wine events or fairs held outside of the vineyard grounds. He interacts with commercial customers, such as restaurants and grocers who sell wine from that vineyard, and helps to market the company's products to a wider audience in an effort to increase sales.