Direct Press Harvest Award - FAQs

What is the Harvest Award?

Direct Press and its parent company Vanderbilt Ave Wine Merchants are awarding one applicant with the funds necessary to travel to and afford to live in the Sonoma wine region during the host winery’s requirement term of employment.  Our Harvest Award partners at Idlewild Wines and Ruth Lewandowski Wines will employ the recipient of the Award as a Harvest Intern and will compensate them to the same level as other Interns.

| Apply Now |

Who Is Eligible?

The Direct Press Harvest Award is open to anyone with an interest in a career in the wine industry, and we strongly encourage BIPOC to apply.  Applicants must be 21+ years of age, be able to perform the job duties outlined in the Harvest Intern job description, have a valid Driver’s License, and be employable in the United States.  The Harvest Internship will take place in Sonoma County, California from on or about September 1st through November 1st, so applicants must be able to live in the area during this time.  If selected for the position the winery will be in contact with you to confirm exact start date.

Who are Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski?

Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski are two of the most exciting producers in Sonoma.  Their focus on old-vine Italian varietals grown in special sites puts them in a category all their own, and the winemakers' focus on making wines in the vineyard has led to both Sam and Evan becoming known as two of the top tier hands-on, thoughtful, and important voices in the Northern California wine world. They consistently make balanced, vineyard-driven wines and an internship there is a top-tier step towards a successful career in the wine world.

If you'd like to learn more about Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski we encourage you to visit their websites.

What is awarded and how can I afford to do this?

The Award is $3,000 received in two installments.  This award is meant to cover your round-trip airfare, ground transportation as needed, a stipend for the duration of the internship, and a partial offset of whatever income you may be forgoing during the two weeks away.  While we are confident that this award is sufficient for all major out-of-pocket expenses, any additional expenses incurred during your employment by Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski will be yours to afford.  The wineries will provide room and board as well as most meals.

What is does a Harvest Intern do?

Great question! Working with Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski will expose you to a ton of different varietals and styles that are all rooted in organically grown grapes from Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. There are always big lunches, long hard days of work, and the music is always loud and fun.

Harvest is busy and tiring. Days often last over 12 hours, all on your feet and moving fast. But, it is a huge joy and so engaging to be part of the process of making wine. The work involves tons of cleaning, caring for fermentations, receiving and processing fruit, more cleaning, more caring for fermentations, learning a variety of winery equipment and systems, and more cleaning. All possible accommodations will be made for all physical abilities, but it is a must that you are able to be on the go, work hard and diligently, do some moderate lifting, ask questions, follow directions, and be willing to get dirty.  Oh, and the wine at lunch and dinner is pretty darn good too!

For a detailed description, please see the full job-posting.

How do I apply and what is the deadline?

Please complete this submission form.  Finalists will need to make themselves available for a brief video or Zoom interview.  The application process is now open and ends on June 21st.  VWM and Idlewild may reach out to applicants to schedule a conversation.  The Award recipient will be notified on or before July 31st.

What is life in Sonoma during harvest like?

Northern Sonoma County is set in idyllic farm and wine country. The winery is a funky old warehouse surrounded by vineyards and is just 5 minutes from the town of Healdsburg. Read between the lines here that this isn't a fancy Chateau...there are glorified outhouses for bathrooms... instead, this is rustic and real in every way, shape, and form. Harvest time is the wild ride that ends the growing season when all the vineyard work from the whole year is finalized as bringing grapes to the winery and converting it all to wine... and it all has to happen as quickly as possible to keep up... so it is a frenetic, celebratory, hard work fest.

What if I have other questions?

We're happy to answer any and all questions you may have.  If you have questions about the Award or the application process please e-mail us here at VWM in Brooklyn.

| Apply Now |

View the Job Description |