Wooldridge Creek Winery is located on over 200 acres in the renowned Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. The land, which houses the vineyard and farm, includes 56 acres of planted grape vines and 150 acres of forest land on a south facing slope, surrounded by other vineyards, small farms, ranches, and public lands. Situated in the heart of the Applegate Valley, Wooldridge Creek Winery is about 30 minutes south of Grants Pass, and 45 minutes north of Medford. The area is a popular destination for hiking, rafting, paragliding, and wine tasting!
The original vineyard was planted in the 70s by the original owners, Mary and Ted, who still live on the land and are involved in the business. Greg and Kara joined them as business partners in 2003 and opened the winery. They now live there with their two young children as well.
Wooldridge Creek Winery makes estate wines and also does custom crush for many labels around the state and even the country. They are a very small operation with an extremely high production. It has been a great way to keep the label exclusive, but bring in many contracts to keep the winery profitable.
As well as operating the vineyard, Wooldridge Creek is also home to Crushpad Creamery, a small creamery making artisan goat and cow milk cheese. The creamery currently purchases cow milk from Noble Diary (certified organic) and also operates a goat dairy, which is currently located 40 minutes away at Pholia Farm in Rogue River. Pholia Farm is a 20 acre dairy farm and homestead located in the forest along Evans Creek and managed by Gianaclis. Gianaclis is a world leader in the field of small scale dairy operation and she established her farm on her childhood home after a long career as a nurse. Wooldridge Creek is excited to be moving the dairy operation to the winery property in late Spring/early Summer of 2019.
Wooldridge dairy currently consists of 8-10 milking does (Lamancha, and Mini Lamancha) who are milked once a day. Cheese making happens 2-4 times a week. The whey from the dairy feeds pigs at the dairy manager, Gillian’s, nearby farm. The female offspring from the goats become future milkers and the males also go to Gillian’s farm for meat production. Many meat cuts from Gillian’s farm are incorporated into the Charcuterie at the winery. The restaurant garden has been going for 5 years and supplies seasonal vegetables for the restaurant, Vinfarm in Grants Pass, and also is a resource for the owners and employees.
An RFC intern will join a lively crew of employees engaged at the winery, including tasting room staff, winemakers, cheesemakers, chefs, gardeners, and vineyard workers. Everyone is very friendly with each other and enjoy spending time together at work and in their free time.
Responsibilities and Training Schedule
The internship at Wooldridge Creek Winery will be focused on learning about the goat dairy operation, with opportunities to learn about cheesemaking, gardening, vineyard management, and wine making as well. The intern will train alongside Dairy Manager, Gillian, a former RFC intern herself. Responsibilities will include milking 3-4 days a week, morning and evening farm chores 5 days a week, care of livestock including goats, chickens, mini horse and donkey, helping out during kidding season, and caring for baby goats including bottle feeding. Dairy production will involve milking, milk machine maintenance, and safe food handling procedures.
Training will be very heavy in the first few weeks including working at Pholia Farm, managing baby goats and learning how to use milk machine. General training schedule will be 5 days a week 8am-mid afternoon with a long break in the afternoon and an hour in the evening prior to dark to put the animals away for the night. Approximately 35 hours a week. Two full days off a week.
Housing will be provided in the Carriage House, which is a private one bedroom cabin located on the winery property, and includes an efficiency kitchen (hot water, hot plate, toaster oven, microwave, fridge) with access to a full kitchen 2 minute walk away in the tasting room. Living room with fireplace, bedroom, full bathroom with tub and wifi.
All food preparation will be the responsibility of the intern, there are no shared meals (except during grape harvest Sept-Nov, when lunch and dinner is catered for all employees). Eggs provided from our chickens and seasonal produce is available for self-harvest from the garden April-Oct. An additional stipend will be provided for extra food cost. Whistling Duck Farm Store is a short drive away. Coffee and tea are provided at the winery along with a “shift drink” after clocking out for the day for those over 21. Bottles of are available for purchase at 50% discount.
Personal vehicle is not mandatory, but encouraged, we have no transportation out here. A winery vehicle will be available upon request if intern has no transportation.
Details of the stipend package will be discussed during the placement process.
No experience needed, but must be 21 or older and have an interest in, and be comfortable working with, animals. Must be capable of lifting 50lbs. Must have valid drivers license and a clean driving record.