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Lab Technician 3 - Benziger

The Wine Group, 1883 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen, California, United States of America Req #1901
Monday, March 18, 2024

An industry leader, The Wine Group is one of the world’s foremost producers of award-winning wines across more than 60 wine brands and many winery facilities in California, New York, and Australia. Headquartered in Livermore, California, TWG is an industry innovator when it comes to developing, marketing, and selling wine brands beloved by consumers around the world, including Cupcake, Franzia, Benziger, Imagery, Tribute, 7 Deadly, Cooper & Thief, The Dreaming Tree, Charles Smith Wines, and more. The Wine Group believes in producing wine using sustainable and earth-friendly practices to foster healthy land and agriculture for generations to come. The company demonstrates environmental stewardship through its commitment to clean energy and by ensuring that all its owned vineyards are certified sustainable or biodynamic. To learn more, please visit: www.thewinegroup.com.

JOB SUMMARY

 

Lab Technicians perform analytical analysis, product, and packaging quality assessments, including issue investigation and resolution to ensure the quality of our work, quality of our wines and quality of our finished products. Lab Technicians work to meet or exceed the quality expectations and regulatory requirements of our varied customers, both internal and external. Technicians must have integrity, a good attitude, perseverance, be flexible, and work as part of a team. Lab Technicians possess a sense of urgency, take initiative and work with the highest attention to detail. Technicians are responsible for communicating and collaborating effectively with many functional areas within TWG, across facilities, and where appropriate, with packaging material suppliers, ingredient suppliers, export customers, bottling co-packers, equipment vendors, etc. Areas of responsibility include performing a wide range of analytical analysis, sanitation validation, and where applicable audits of product quality and processes as well as microbial stability evaluation of wines in tank or barrel, bulk export and or packaged wines in addition to a wide range of quality or food safety related projects. Lab Technicians must operate the variety of instrumentation/tools, and computer systems utilized to perform the job functions and participate in tests and projects as assigned. Higher Level Technicians take on additional duties and responsibilities.

 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

 

Level 1:

 

  • Actively commit to and participate in our lab and corporate safety programs: including following all safety protocols and procedures. Learning to recognize and report hazards and take appropriate action to keep yourself and others safe. Participate in safety programs, activities, including delivering safety trainings on a variety of topics.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with colleagues, within the team, the facility and across all functional areas the lab interacts with. Share information, participate in meetings etc.
  • Perform routine analysis at all stages of the winemaking process from grape samples to consumer complaints utilizing appropriate methods per SOPs. Operate and assist in maintaining the varied laboratory instruments and equipment utilized, such as auto-titrators, spectrophotometers, densitometers, Y15, alcolyzer, balances, pH meters, etc. Capture complete, accurate and thorough results. Play a key role in bottling tank approval process.
  • Perform process audits, compliance verification and or package quality assessments. Assist in identifying and resolving issues and/or taking appropriate action on sanitation issues, non-conforming product or material issues as directed. Timing is critical and must be managed to ensure responsibilities are performed at appropriate times. Capture clear, concise, accurate data and information. Seek input as appropriate. (Varies by facility).
  • Perform sanitation validation and troubleshooting through swabbing, record, and data review etc.
  • Participate in and support our Food Safety Management Programs as a part of your routine duties.
  • Make quality, process improvement suggestions, and follow through to implement as appropriate.
  • Maintain daily analysis spreadsheet and communicate results to Winemakers.
  • Perform Bottling line QA checks.
  • Weighing, mixing and addition of nutrients to fermentations
  • Data management: Input and evaluate data, perform calculations to determine basic statistical parameters. Utilize technology; computers, and specific software for managing processes including JDE, Microsoft Office, and Nova Link.
  • Recognize common issues, collect data/information for common or less complex issues, seek direction on resolution.
  • Help maintain a clean, safe laboratory facility. Follow good laboratory practices and lead by example.
  • Monitor, maintain, calibrate, and troubleshoot routine common issues with lab equipment and instrumentation.
  • Sampling from different wine vessels such as tanks, barrels, drums, etc.
  • Ability to work in different environments such as crush pad (outside), barrel room, and wine cave.

 

Level 2 – in addition to above:

 

  • Demonstrates ownership of core processes and ensures team goals are met on their shift.
  • Provides the necessary technical support to facilitate timely and successful completion of projects as assigned.
  • Performs work that is varied and somewhat difficult/challenging, but usually involves limited responsibility.
  • Provides guidance/training to lower level or less experience lab technicians and as directed, persons from cellar or operations on appropriate quality related functions/instruments.
  • Recognize and investigate root cause on more complex issues, suggest further steps, present options for resolution. As needed, stays up to date on best practices, current technology, and techniques through literature review, attending seminars/conferences, etc.
  • Where appropriate: Interprets microbiological data. This includes proper microbe ID, microscope work, preparing streak plates, evaluating results, taking appropriate follow up action such as placing product on hold. Know when to report concerning results to management. Good follow through.
  • Maintain running inventory of lab supplies and yeast/nutrient additives.
  • Bench Blend preparation for wines. Arranging samples, actual blending, analysis, bench trials as needed.
  • Monitor wastewater ponds.
  • Maintain clean and organized workplace.
  • Where appropriate: with direction from winemaking and or quality management, provide oversight to cellar/bottling sanitation processes and programs.
  • Where appropriate: act as a packaging material champion on issue investigations and resolution.
  • Where appropriate: assist in investigating, resolving, and dispositioning finished product HOLDs.
  • Where appropriate: act as a key member of a Food Safety Team and/or Safety Committee Team.

 

Level 3 – in addition to above:

 

  • Experienced individual contributor and team member, cross trained in all areas. Role model for others.
  • Works with minimum supervision, takes initiative and provides direction/leadership to team on problem solving, work prioritization, process improvements, etc.
  • Assignments are broad in nature and include special projects (interdepartmental and inter-winery)
  • Has appreciable latitude for un-reviewed action, decision, creativity.
  • As needed, work with other facilities, outside vendors and customers in problem resolution and continuous improvement in meeting our safety, quality, cost, and production goals
  • Superior analytical skills and as appropriate, quality assurance experience, packaging and or microbiological/sanitation skills.
  • Duties include assisting in establishing specifications, and in the validation of assays, developing and writing SOPs.
  • Assist with troubleshooting and root-cause analysis for analytical, quality and food safety related concerns. Develop quality response plans and corrective actions as appropriate with supervision.
  • Manage tests/project plans and assist with analyzing the data and making recommendations.
  • Generation of workorders, based on winemaking instructions, from our wine tracking system.
  • Order laboratory supplies based on laboratory needs and inventory.

 

ALL Lab Technicians:

 

  • Support and model all company procedures and policies.
  • Must embrace and demonstrate The Wine Group Core Values - Performance, Empowered and Cost-mindful, and keep them in mind when making all decisions.
  • This job description reflects management’s assignment of essential functions; it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

 

  • Must be 18 or older at the time of hire.
  • Demonstrated reliability and punctuality, work effectively in team/crew environment, adherence to all safety and food safety regulations and operating procedures.
  • Must be able to work rotating shifts and overtime.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions and procedures/protocols. 
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.
  • Positive attitude does not get caught up in negativity.
  • Knowledge of good laboratory practices, including sample and reagent preparation techniques, sample handling and good record keeping.
  • Ability to apply concepts such as percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
  • Ability to prioritize while able to adapt to changing priorities.
  • Ability to write reports and correspondence.
  • Computer skill requirements include basic MS Outlook, Word, and Excel.

 

Level 1:

 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, Biology, Food Science, Process Technology, Quality Assurance, or related science field. Some experience preferred but not required.
  • Alternative:  Biotech Certificate or AS degree in chemistry, food science, biology, process technology, quality assurance, or related science field, or 1-2 years professional lab experience in food/beverage/alcohol industry; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

 

Level 2:

 

  • BS degree in chemistry, food science, biology, process technology, quality assurance, enology, or related science field, plus 2 years professional lab experience in food/beverage/alcohol industry.
  • Alternative:  5+ years professional lab experience in food/beverage/alcohol industry; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Computer skills required: Excel pivot tables, charts, JDE, WMS (site specific) Instrument software, Intelex, MS Word, MS Power Point.

 

Level 3:

 

  • BS degree in chemistry, food science, biology, process technology, quality assurance, enology, or related field, plus 4 years professional lab experience in food/beverage/alcohol industry.
  • Alternative: 7+ professional lab experience in food/beverage/alcohol industry; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Required Computer skills: Excel pivot tables, charts, JDE, WMS (site specific) Instrument software, Intelex, MS Word, MS Power Point.

 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

 

  • Must be able to frequently lift and carry weights of up to 50 pounds at varying frequencies.
  • Possess the ability to work in a fast-paced production environment.
  • Working environment is both indoors and outdoors, with exposure to related equipment and noise levels.
  • Ability to perform tasks requiring bending, stooping, standing, and twisting in the laboratory and or production environment.
  • Must be able to repeatedly climb 20 feet tank stairs/vertical tank ladders.

 

COMPENSATION

 

  • Hourly Pay Range Posted: $27.79 – $41.68/hr.
  • Actual compensation will be based on factors such as experience; skills, knowledge, and abilities; education; and other position related factors.

 

 

At The Wine Group, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to an environment of mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristic protected by law.

 

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Other details

  • Job Family Winery Operations
  • Job Function Operations
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Min Hiring Rate $27.79
  • Max Hiring Rate $41.68
Location on Google Maps
  • The Wine Group, 1883 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen, California, United States of America