Napa Valley Wine Academy

Wine Industry Career Series: How to Start Your Job Search

How To Start Your Job Search

Wine Industry Career Series

How to Start Your Job Search

 By Karen Wetzel, WSET L3, NVWE, AWE

October 29, 2020


Fork in the Road

Many of you aspire to work in the wine industry but don’t know how to begin, and that’s the inspiration for this edition in our Wine Industry Career Series. Getting started can be overwhelming. You know where you want to go, but you’re just not sure how to get there.  

To find your best opportunities, just start your engine—your search engine that is.  


The wine industry’s go-to job site is, but you can also check out LinkedIn,, and   

Here are some ideas to point you in the right direction. 

1. Start your search with just one keyword: “wine,” with no other filters in place. Check out the entire list of jobs available around the country. You’ll be surprised to find jobs you’ve never imagined.  


2. Narrow your search by state, city, and zip code. Don’t get boxed in by location. Broaden your search by expanding your geography for more opportunities. Every state in the US makes, distributes, and sells wine, and many jobs can be done from home. No matter where you live, there are opportunities to be found.


3. Check out different job descriptions and qualifications but think of this more as an employer’s wish list rather than a deal-breaker. See how many of your skills fit the bill.  Don’t worry if you don’t check all of their boxes. There’s no such thing as a unicorn, so don’t let that stop you from applying for a position you want. (In our next article in this Career Series, we’ll teach you how to check off more of those boxes in a hurry.)  


4. Fish where the fish are by including large companies in your search. Beyond sales and marketing positions, large companies have almost endless opportunities in areas like production, logistics, finance, HR, graphic design, analysis, etc. The good news is that many of these positions don’t require any wine experience or knowledge. Here are a few links to help you find these types of companies:    

Top 14 Wine Distributors in the US

Top 10 US Wine Distributors

The World’s Top 10 Biggest Wine Companies


5. Lastly, check out companies that play a supporting role to the wine industry—glass manufactures, shipping, technology, supplies, advertising, and marketing agencies. You might find your skillset is well-suited to many of these positions.    

Getting started on your job search can be daunting but once you get going, you can get ready to take the next steps to find that job. To that end, our next article “No Experience? No Problem,” is up next and will offer solid solutions to enhance your resume quickly and get you to your first interview. 

In the meantime, don’t let your future wait.  Get that engine going.

For personal, one-on-one mentoring book a session with one of our experienced mentors, or book a career coaching session with Karen Wetzel directly. 

(The views expressed by the author are hers alone and may not reflect the views of the Napa Valley Wine Academy.)




Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

You've got this!

Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


3555 Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV 89109


You've got this!

Mariott Santa Ynez

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

April 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


555 McMurray Road

Buelton, CA 93427


You've got this!

Art Hotel Denver

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Mountain)


1201 Broadway

Denver, CO 80203


You've got this!

Aloft Nashville

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Central)


1719 West End Ave.

Nashville, TN 37203


You've got this!

Epicurean Hotel

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Eastern)


1207 S Howard Ave,

Tampa, FL 33606


You've got this!

Street View of HQ

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

January 22, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


2501 Oak Street

Napa, CA 94559