Winemaker (Wine Jobs: Vineyards & Cellars )

Full Time

  The Foreign Affair Winery

  Vineland Station, Ontario

The Foreign Affair Winery is owned and operated by Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd.

For more information on The Foreign Affair Winery and our portfolio of wines, please visit our website at

Corby’s portfolio of owned brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including Wiser's Canadian Whisky, Lamb's Rum and Polar Ice Vodka. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT Vodka, Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, Ballantine’s Scotch Whiskies, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Beefeater Gin, Malibu Rum, Kahlua Liqueur, Mumm Champagne, Jacob's Creek, Wyndham Estate and Stoneleigh wines.  An overview of the entire Corby portfolio shows over 5,000,000 cases sold annually, with Corby being a significant importer of wines and having an approximate 21 percent market share of spirit sales in Canada.

Why work at Corby? Because we are a great place to work! And we’re not the only ones who think so. Corby was named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces for 7 years by The Great Place to Work® Institute Canada, based on employee survey results and an audit of workplace excellence and people management practices.

Position Summary:

The Foreign Affair Winery Winemaker is primarily responsible for the quality and style of all the wines produced by (and for) The Foreign Affair Winery and for ensuring the wines can be made at a cost agreed by company management. This is achieved through a thorough understanding of the Foreign Affair strategy, the brand marketing platforms and the economics of grape growing and winemaking in Ontario. The Foreign Affair Winery Winemaker also acts as a brand ambassador and so is expected to be a good communicator and available for markets, gate keepers and the media when required. 

Position Dimensions / Roles Reporting to Position / Decision Making Authority:

Position Dimensions:

  • This role reports to the General Manager – Foreign Affair Winery     

Roles reporting to position:

  • Assistant Winemaker
  • Cellar Hand
  • Seasonal Harvest Staff

Decision Making Authority:

  • Winemaking protocols
  • Wine styles 

Key Responsibilities/Accountabilities:


  • Responsible for style development to meet consumer needs, brand positioning and wine profitability.
  • Responsible for ensuring the style agreed for all wine SKU’s can be delivered through the winery operation at the cost of goods that is required to make the wines commercially acceptable.
  • Responsible for supervision and relationship of third-party vineyard management company.
  • Responsible for coordinating dry goods purchasing.
  • Responsible for coordinating annual oak barrel purchases.
  • Responsible for creating and approving back label descriptions for each wine release.
  • Ensure quality control systems are promoted in accordance with Company Policy and Food Safety.
  • Solve technical/processing problems as they arise.
  • Create, update and file cellar work orders.
  • Ensuring satisfactory storage conditions for the wine.
  • Fermentation monitoring/control and tasting.
  • All harvest activities including vineyard visits, drying, crushing, pressing and fermentation.
  • Regular checking on cellar operations to ensure maintenance of quality standards and performance.
  • Making required and timely VQA submissions for all wines produced.
  • Monitoring and maintenance of wine inventory.
  • Play a key role in planning the functional operations of the winery (cellar, barrel, laboratory & winemaking) to achieve the agreed commercial and wine quality objectives.
  • In conjunction with the General Manager develop and drive winery planning/efficiency tools as they relate to both site and packaging requirements.
  • Act as ambassador for the Foreign Affair brand, by hosting tastings and technical visits & tours at the winery.
  • Ensure the maintenance of accurate records of inventory, blends and procedures etc. 
  • Maintaining the security of key technical information and procedures.
  • Preparation of written reports when required, along with preparation of operational reports for circulation to senior management covering productivity, cost, safety, quality and topical operational issues.

Business Improvement

  • Make a strong contribution to the grape sourcing.
  • Make a strong contribution to any and all cogs initiatives needed to maintain the evolution of standard costs at or below inflation.
  • In collaboration with Marketing team ensure our wine portfolio is growing and developing along with our consumer preferences and to meet new market opportunities.
  • Actively lead, influence and participate in experimentation and innovation from grape through to finished wine to achieve our goal of an exciting, interesting and premium wine portfolio.
  • Take an interest in both global consumer trends as they relate to wine and related beverages as well as new winemaking techniques and technologies to ensure Foreign Affair maintains a fresh and enquiring perspective on the wine category.
  • Keep up to date with technology and ideas that could be beneficial within Foreign Affair and the broader Ontario wine industry.
  • Challenge the status quo and look for new solutions to ongoing and new problems
  • Ensure winemaking skills and knowledge are maintained i.e. industry up-dates, conference & wine show attendance.
  • Assist the General Manager to review the winemaking processes and procedures, from vineyard through bottling, to ensure continuous improvement.


  • Ensure effective intra and inter Departmental communication between all levels of employees within the Winery.
  • Participate in formal and informal team meetings as required.
  • Promote a culture of winemaking excellence and innovation that also embraces Corby core values.
  • Positively influence the culture of winery operations in line with Company values.
  • Be a driving force in assisting the General Manager to establish appropriate industrial environment for a safe and productive workplace.

Health, Safety, Quality and Compliance

  • The Company is committed to maintaining the highest level of performance in all aspects of quality, safety and environmental management (“QSE”). As a manager, you will meet our QSE obligations by:
  • Complying with relevant legislation and the company’s QSE policies, standards and procedures.
  • Creating a culture where people are treated with, and treat each other with respect, and in accordance with the company’s equal opportunity and unacceptable behaviour policy.
  • Ensuring enough resources are made available to maintain a safe workplace, and to meet all other aspects of the company’s QSE requirements.
  • Actively participating and supporting team participation in QSE training and initiatives.
  • Supporting the return to work of team members as part of their rehabilitation process.
  • Identifying and effectively managing QSE risks to the business.
  • Ensuring business practices support QSE management and corporate social responsibility principles.

Skills / Qualifications / Experience:


  • Confidence in own knowledge and palate
  • Tertiary qualifications in Oenology, Wine Science or Business Management.
  • Minimum 5 years practical winemaking experience in all facets of winemaking process
  • Experience with the Appassimento winemaking technique
  • Ability to lead, motivate and communicate effectively with a wide range of people.
  • Ability to work in a changing environment with a commitment to continuous improvement and quality systems
  • Computer skills medium level of knowledge with Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, word, PowerPoint, outlook).  
  • Self-motivated, industrious, honest and a high level of integrity
  • A demonstrated commitment to quality
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with the public and trade


  • Experience working under ISO guidelines and managing continuous improvement initiatives
  • Understanding of Ontario/Canadian legal requirements related to wine
  • Understanding of the strategic planning process with an ability to set achievable goals and evaluate performance against measurable outcomes
  • Forklift license and experience.

Special Conditions:

  • Out of hours work may be required.
  • Domestic travel as required.
  • Current driver’s license.
  • Work is performed in a typical field environment with heavy demands for movement and lifting.

This position description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed.  It is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, or skills required, and the employee may be required to perform other duties (that they are skilled to perform) as needed.

We welcome and encourage applications from individuals from all groups, including aboriginal, women, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, creed, family status, national origin, age and gender.  

Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd is committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Should you require accommodation during any phase of the recruitment process or wish to view our accommodation policies, please contact the Human Resources Department at

Thank you for your interest in Pernod Ricard and its subsidiaries, Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. All resumes submitted will be reviewed by our recruitment team and kept on file for six months in consideration for this and future opportunities. Please note that only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Please do not contact provincial offices directly as all recruitment is coordinated through the Corporate Office in Toronto.

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