A Dream Life in Wine Country… Why not you?

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You visit wine country. You love wine. You fall in love with the scenery. The area is bucolic, romantic, and peaceful, it’s just heaven.

So why not leave your current job, move to wine country, and live the life you admire so much. 

This is actually what many people say they want to do. And why not? It is a beautiful part of the country (not just Napa, not just any one region, but nearly everywhere there are many wineries).

People have done this, you know. If you want or need a change of life, there are worse ways to do it. We know of several. One man living on the east coast went tasting in Napa, and talked to the tasting room attendant who had quit his Wall St. job, his wife quit her job, and they headed out west. One woman living in Iowa spent years saving money to end up in Napa. And she did. And now is the wine educator for a major winery.

So why can’t you do it? Ok, it’s not that easy. But it is doable. Working in a winery is not all romance. It’s hard work, even as a tasting room attendant. And you still have to buy a house or rent one. Prices are high. Salaries are not quite as high. You still have to do laundry. You still have to do the usual things you do back home. And if you have small children, it’s not easy to uproot them. So you can wait. Is it worth it?

If you want to make wine, have you made wine at home? There are wine kits, or even sophisticated winery equipment you can buy if you have the room. Is your wine any good? People have started out that way and are quite successful now.

What about looking for a wine job locally? You don’t need to be at the center of the universe (we’re talking Napa here. Oh it’s not? You’re right, there are many centers).

Do you know about wine? Are you good with people? But if you really want this, it’s not that hard to find a spot. And there are so many different positions you could be right for, one that would feed your passion about wine.

Want to work in the cellar? It’s a good place to start, especially if you want to make wine. What about selling wine? You can do that where you are now. Work for a wholesaler or retailer. Are you an outdoorsy type? Work in the vineyards. Do you like people and want to talk about wine all day long? Well, then a tasting room job is for you.

But where do you look? Ask locally. Wine shops. Wholesalers. Restaurants. You might really think it’s better than your Wall St. job. But it sure pays a hell of a lot less. Still on board? Then go here.

This database lists jobs in wine almost anywhere in the US. All kinds of wine-related jobs. Feed your passion. This writer did. Left technology. Worked wine retail. Then wineries. A perfect life. Well, the money could be better.

Larry Chandler

Larry has spent many years in the wine industry in both New York and California. He has been a wine educator with wineries and wine clubs, and has written about wine marketing for several marketing groups. He has also been a judge for two major wine competitions, the Pinot Noir Summit and the Cabernet Sauvignon Summit. 



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