Winery Internship Extends into Schoolyear, Opens the Door for New Career Possibilities
Chyenne Deno (Sales and Marketing; Brook, Indiana) has always had an appreciation for Wine Production, but until last summer, she had never had a chance to gain experience in the industry. During the summer of 2021, Chyenne accepted a position as Carpenter Creek’s summer production intern. A position, which has now turned into a part time job during the school year, has expanded her perspective on the wine industry and future career options.
It all began in the spring of 2021 when Chyenne was waiting to hear back from another company on a different internship position. “I was waiting to hear back from another company and during that time my friend emailed me Carpenter Creek Cellars internship application. They knew I was from the same area and thought it was something I would be interested in.”
As a production intern, Chyenne had the opportunity to explore several aspects of the wine industry including everything from production to interacting with consumers. “I worked alongside the winemaker in the cellar. I did a lot of prep work. I would clean, sanitize, and assemble needed equipment for the day. Then once it was used, I would disassemble, clean, sanitize and put it all back. The winemaker is very big of teaching. He will always take the time to walk me through what is happening and why. I loved seeing his passion for what he does come through.”
In addition, Chyenne also got to spend time on the lab bench. Wine needs to be tested for SO2 levels before it is put into a bottle. By the end of the summer, Chyenne was able to do this whole process by herself and was entrusted with that position.
“Most of my time was spend in the cellar/lab but, I did get to experience the tasting room on weekends. This was a blast! I learned how to talk about wine from the start to the finish of a single taste. I am able to ask someone what kind of wine they normally drink and direct them to some from our list that can match that likeness. Even though I was a production intern I truly did see all aspects of the business and being a young person was asked to help with their social media as well.”
During the summer, Chyenne was able to work alongside the owners and the fulltime staff at Carpenter Creek Cellars winery. When her internship began to close, she was given the opportunity to stay on part time during the school year. Chyenne accepted the opportunity to stay and is thankful she did, even if her job duties are different. “I have chosen to keep working with this company while in school and things are very different. Over the summer I filled the position of a full-time production assistant and while at school I can only work a few days a month. When I go back to work while in school, I do a lot more work in the tasting room. I am a Sales and Marketing major, so I love talking to people and finding a wine that is good for them.”
Taking on this internship has definitely changed Chyenne’s career outlook and what her future options might hold. “I know that I want to stay within the wine industry. I don’t know yet if I want to focus on marketing for a company or work in production.” While she may not know exactly where she will land post graduation, Chyenne shared some valuable take-aways from her experience thus far, “Carpenter Creek has a mom-and-pop feel to it and the atmosphere is one of a kind. Working in such a unique area of the agriculture industry allowed me to experience things in a different way. My favorite memory was from my first week on the job. I was cleaning off the picnic tables outside and the owner told me to finish up so I can enjoy a cup of coffee with him before the day got started.”
Looking ahead to Summer 2022, Chyenne has already committed to serve again as an intern at Carpenter Creek, an opportunity she hopes will allow her to further explore the industry. “Even though I have committed to next summer they will look for a new summer intern. I will be there to keep learning about the wine making process and hold the spot as a full-time production employee. I still have another year of school left. I do not know where I will go after graduation but, I want to take a chance at seeing more. I want to spend time in another state seeing the differences and similarities between wineries.”