Wine Industry Career Series: Jumpstart Your Wine Career Here

Wine Industry Career Series

Wine Industry Career Series: Jumpstart Your Wine Career Here

Introducing our new Career Series—articles penned by longtime industry expert Karen Wetzel, exploring a wide variety of topics, industry insights, guidance, and tools to help you find your career in wine.

By Karen Wetzel, WSET 3, NVWE, AWE

At the Napa Valley Wine Academy, we are dedicated to educating you and feeding your passion for wine. To that end, it’s time for us to help you jumpstart your career by launching our Wine Industry Career Series.  


My name is Karen Wetzel.  I’m an Instructor, Social Media Manager, Career Coach, and Student at the Napa Valley Wine Academy. I began my career in the wine industry several decades ago, starting out in restaurants, then distributor sales with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS), which lead me to the education team at Constellation Brands before landing here at The Napa Valley Wine Academy. I’m very excited to bring you this new series with a wide variety of topics, offering industry insights, guidance, and tools to help you enter our amazing field or grow in your current role.

I remember my very first day as a wine rep in Cleveland, Ohio—yep, Cleveland, Ohio. It was training day and I was sitting at a restaurant overlooking the river. I was with an experienced sales rep and his client, tasting wine that was under consideration for his new wine list. I couldn’t believe this was my new life. I thought I was dreaming. Well, I eventually woke up and discovered that working in the wine industry is not all swirling and sipping—it can be hard work and long hours—but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

I often hear, ‘You have the best job—how do I get in on that?’ So, that’s the question we’re going to try to answer for you in this series. How to get in—and how to succeed.


Working in the wine industry is more than just a job…it’s a lifestyle.  It becomes a part of who you are and shapes your world like no other industry can. Once you’re in, you’re ALL in. Other job opportunities may come and go, but they don’t have the fringe benefits you’ll find here like wine dinners, travel, and, of course, WINE!  

So many of you, in fact over 12,000, have trusted us with your wine education, and we are so appreciative. Now we want to return the favor and help you find your dream job too. Going from being a sales trainee in Cleveland to a Wine Educator in Napa Valley, I am proof positive that, with enough determination, all things are possible.  

What You Can Do Right Now to Jump-Start Your Career:

Follow @napavalleywineacademy on LinkedIn. We’ll publish a new article every other Thursday—chock full of information to help you find the right job, enhance your resume, and grow your career. Keep on the lookout for the first article in these Career Series: “How to Start Your Job Search,” which will publish on the Napa Valley Wine Academy’s blog on Thursday, October 29, 2020.  

For personal, one-on-one coaching visit our Expert Coaching page to schedule a session with one of our experienced mentors.  

You can also book a session with me—Karen Wetzel—directly. Book Now.  

Be sure to check back in for my next article in this career series, and never hesitate to reach out to myself, or any of our talented, expert staff here at Napa Valley Wine Academy.


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



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