What is a vintner’s job?
Thank you for the question. I can talk about my work as a vintner for days, but I’ll try to just hit the main points.
What is a Vintner?
I get asked this a lot, and it’s a great question because “vintner” can mean different things to different people. Looking at definitions online, I can see why people are looking for something a little more explanatory.
Definitions range from “a wine producer” to a “wine merchant” to a “winemaker.” These three jobs are distinctly different. A wine producer is someone that has vision over an entire company from branding to how the grapevines are cultivated. The producer ensures that the pathway from production to the marketplace is clear. Everything from choosing varieties and clones of grapes to getting their wine in the marketplace, a wine producer takes a hands-on approach to the entire business. I am most certainly a wine producer.
A wine merchant is someone who sells wine. Your local fine wine dealer or your favorite liquor store are wine merchants. Most large chain grocery stores are also wine merchants. As someone who sells my wines online and in stores around the world, I am also a wine merchant.
A winemaker, of course, makes the wine. Sometimes, they farm their own grapes. Other times, they order grapes from outside sources and make wine. Either way, their job title is pretty specific. They make the grape-picking decisions,, they ferment, they even often devise methods for their own flavor combinations. I am not the winemaker for Oceano Wines, but I have made wine before and I am intimately familiar with the process.
So, what does a vintner do? A vintner’s job is to perform or have a deep understanding of all of those functions. That makes me a vintner, because I am a part of all these things and more.
What Does a Vintner Do?
Much more goes into owning a winery brand than making the wine or growing the grapes. Here is where the term “vintner” comes in handy. It’s more succinct than using the term “wine producer.”
A vintner’s job is to drive the soul of the brand beginning with a vision of what the wines will be – what is the wine style target? For my experience, I envisioned the taste and aroma of our wines before they were made or the first grape was picked for Oceano Wines.
My first visit to the Spanish Springs was a moment of a living dream. I could see into the future a wine style which few people were making, but many were craving. We gave them an uncommon style of California Chardonnay and Pinot noir– refreshing, balanced, and lower in alcohol than most of its counterparts.
The vintner drives the brand, leads the team, and sets the target. And in our case the vintner is also the owner of the winery.
A unique combination of education, experience, and a passion for wine inspired me to launch Oceano Wines and I am happy to share my knowledge with other winemakers and wine lovers alike. What do you want to know about Oceano, our team, winemaking, our travels, or our industry? Send me your questions!