Brown-Forman Quality and Laboratory Manager - Sonoma Cutrer Vineyard in Windsor, California

Job Description:


Oversee laboratory operations for the production of all Sonoma-Cutrer wines, representing 1,000,000 gallons of wine, including 15,000- 20,000 barrels for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Handle ongoing special projects in the winemaking lab, working in conjunction with winemakers, cellar operations staff and planners. Responsible for overseeing one full-time lab technician/database specialist as well as seasonal harvest and part-time help as needed. Responsible for Quality Management System, overseeing one full-time quality technician. Responsible for quality control on the bottling line and for incoming bottling packaging inspections.

Basic Function:

Manage, plan and execute laboratory analysis to support winemakers, cellar and bottling operations for Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards. Responsible for overall day to day operations of winemaking lab and quality control for Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards. Responsible for the integrity and efficiency of the winemaking lab and quality of laboratory work. Responsible for ensuring understanding and adherence to the Quality Management system.


Authority level 1

Lab Management and Analysis 40%

Responsible for overall quality control of winemaking laboratory as it relates to sample analysis, malo-lactic fermentation, data tracking and reporting, export compliance paperwork. Oversee the precision and accuracy of lab analyses, including all analysis performed by outside facilities. Oversee special projects as requested by winemakers.

Maintain clear, concise and accessible records of all data for juices, wines, microbiological work, bottling samples and bottled samples utilizing spreadsheets, worksheets and wine tracking database.

Communicates with Winemakers and Cellar Manager to manage, plan and organize tracking of alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation in tanks and barrels.

Prepares chemical solutions and reagents used for lab analyses. Performs lab analyses, utilizing a wide variety of techniques and equipment. Standardizes lab equipment. Is able to troubleshoot, maintain and perform minor repair on instruments. Resolve any deviations in accuracy or precision for all analysis generated. Advises winemaking staff of any chemical problems or unusual changes encountered with analyses or tasting of lab samples. Retrieves samples for laboratory analysis and tastings from barrels and tanks. Performs microbiological tests. This includes Brett testing, plating and microbiological identification. Prepare and manage lab budget. Order chemicals and supplies. Schedule annual preventative maintenance for all required lab equipment.

Set up bench top trials for Isinglass, Bentonite and any other wine additive. Set up for winemaker tastings.

Oversee field sampling during Harvest and ensure results are communicated and entered into Agcode in a timely manner.

Quality Control Management: 35%

Authority level 1

Responsible for overall management of the Quality Management System including holds & releases, microbiology, compliance, housekeeping & sanitation, and safety functions.

Impliments and maintains quality procedures and processes, wine packaging specifications and standards for continues quality assurance. Maintains the ETQ database for all quality documents pertaining Sonoma-Cutrer wines. Collaborates with the tasting room and wine club staff to enter all customer complaints into ETQ. Utilizes the Sales Force CI database for tracking Material Discrepancies, Quality Holds and releases. Reports monthly Quality report to BF QA.

During periods of bottling, monitors bottling throughout the day, performs random checks on packaging materials, performs incoming inspections, and periodically meets with packaging vendors.

Ensures that QC checks are performed on all incoming bottling packaging materials. Utilize SAP to view material inventory levels and track quality as needed. Sets up cork trials and performs QC checks on incoming corks. Ensures that QC bottling line audits and bottling QC inspections are performed in a manner consistent with the Quality Management System (QMS). Ensures adherence to the QMS. Ensures that QMS forms are completed in a timely manner. Ensures that Quality and Housekeeping and Sanitation audits are conducted on a monthly basis. Acts as management representative for the QMS.

Personnel management 10%

Provide primary support in the training, supervision and orientation of new and seasonal employees. Responsible for approving time and vacation/time off requests for lab personnel and for quality technician. Conducts semi-annual performance reviews for full-time direct reports.

Organize and prioritize workload for lab technicians and quality technician. Responsible for general housekeeping of winemaking laboratory. Responsible for overall lab safety, maintaining lab SDS sheets, chemical hygiene plan and lab procedures book. Ensure department employees complete safety trainings.

Make ongoing recommendations on future staffing and equipment to ensure continued state-of-the art technologies and practices are considered and/or implemented.

Wine Tracking System- 10%

Oversee Wine Tracking System work order entry, troubleshooting errors, and barrel scanning. Ensure end of month inventory and activity summary report is accurate and ready for finance shortly after month end close. Confirm bottling gallons between SAP and wine tracking system monthly. Assist in writing work orders during harvest.

Special Projects- 5%

Set up new wine analysis machines or procedures as needed. Work with Brown-Forman Research and Development on special projects by tracking results or setting up equipment and new testing procedures, especially at harvest. Oversee sensory tasting set up, analysis, and tracking results. Bottle small lots for sensory tastings.

Must Experience:

Bachelor’s Degree in related scientific field

5+ years experience in winemaking lab or production lab

Valid CA drivers’ license


Proficiency with analytical techniques and wine lab instrumentation.

Proficiency with Quality control, GMP and Quality Management System.

Computer proficiency in excel, database, word, email and internet applications.

Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of internal and external contacts.

Ability to build relationships with employees and vendors.

Developed mathematical skills and ability to think analytically.

Physical Requirements:

Work environment requires mobility throughout offices, cellar, barrel rooms, laboratory and related locations. Requires standing for long periods of time and walking and standing on concrete floors. Requires ability to climb stairs and ladders, lift, bend and twist, carry samples. Ability to lift and carry up to 45lbs as needed.


Analytic, Accountable, Lead by Example, Detail Oriented

Will require extensive hours during harvest season, including weekend work.#SM#TSM

About Brown-Forman:


For more than 145 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach and GlenDronach. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 4,600 employees and sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide

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Brown-Forman Corporation is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. It is the policy of Brown-Forman Corporation to provide full and equal employment opportunities to all employees and potential employees without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, physical or mental disability or any other legally protected status.

Business Area: Global Production

City: Windsor

State: CA

Country: United States

Req Type: Exempt

AutoReqId: 4521BR