Remember that dream job posted by one California wine company looking for the right person to join their team that offered a $10,000-per-month salary, ‘rent-free’ living and a year’s supply of wine?
Right, that one.
On August 4, Sonoma-based company Murphy-Goode Winery made the official announcement choosing not one winner, but two.
Murphy-Goode Master Winemaker Dave Ready, Jr. told Inside Edition Digital that they received 7,266 video submissions, some as far away as India, Chile and Australia.
“The overwhelming number of submissions did lead us to offer the role to two people, after seeing so many worthy applicant videos,” Ready said. “But, regardless of the international attention, ‘A Really Goode Job’ received, our goal of giving someone the opportunity of a lifetime to land their dream job in the wine industry remained.”
The two winners were chosen: Veronica Hebbard, 28, of Orlando, Florida, and Lindsay Perry, 28, of Austin, Texas. Or better known on their Instagram as “@vino.with.vero” or “@Lindsaywinesalot”
Both women are still pinching themselves.
Hebbard told Inside Edition Digital that she first heard about the opportunity from her dad. She said she was on the beach sipping a cocktail when she got the text from him about the dream opportunity. “I couldn’t wait so the very next day I applied, hungover and all,” she said.
Meanwhile, Perry said many of her friends were sending articles to her about the job. She said it got to a point where she started to listen. “I took it as a sign that I definitely needed to apply if all of these people immediately thought ‘this would be perfect for Lindsay,’ when seeing this opportunity,” she said.
That is when they both started the application process and got to work to create a standout video.
Hebbard described her submission video as “not very flashy or crazy.” “I didn’t want it to be,” she said. “It was simply me pouring my heart out in the hopes that they would see my passion and hunger for all things wine! I think they admired my spirit, personality, and drive and understood that there is an energy here that needs their guidance to shape it into something great.”
Perry’s approach was a little different. She told Inside Edition Digital that she based her submission off of the Harvard admissions video essay scene from the 2001 movie, “Legally Blonde.”
“I think that when people watched my video they felt a bit of nostalgia and were also impressed by my creative take on it,” she said.
Hebbard, whose previous employment was working as an engineer at Walt Disney World describes herself on her Instagram as an “engineer with a passion for fermented grapes.” While Perry, whose career started in sports marketing, tells her Instagram followers that she is a “Black girl who loves drinking and learning about wine!”
(I know we love these girls too.)
Both women said they had been living, learning, and drinking wine way before Murphy-Goode Winery and Vineyard was even on their radar.
Hebbard told Inside Edition Digital that her journey into making wine started when her dad made wine in the basement in their home. She said her interest grew from there. She took wine education classes in college and then during the pandemic was able to harness her passion. She said she created an Instagram account to share her love and interest in being part of the wine industry.
Meanwhile, Perry said she completed WSET Levels 1 and 2 (Wine Spirit and Education Trust) and also has been working at a local wine bar in Austin.
“I have a good amount of wine knowledge, however, nothing beats learning right there in the vineyard and the winery so I’m excited for that part,” she said.
Of the thousands that applied the company narrowed it down to 17 finalists. And, according to Murphy-Goode winery, they had some “REALLY GOODE” submissions that were apparently pretty outrageous.
“We saw everything, magic tricks, comedy, extreme sports, pleading, balloon art, singing, and more!,” Ready said. “Let just say people went to great lengths to try and convey how much they wanted the job and definitely tried to stand out.”
He added, “One of our 17 finalists even jumped out of a plane to show us how seriously he was.”
The campaign that launched in mid-March also set off a media frenzy, garnering national and international headlines. When asked if it was a publicity stunt, Ready replied, “So, you can call it a publicity stunt, but we just call a really ‘Goode’ idea and opportunity that everyone wanted to talk about.”
He wasn’t kidding.
“This campaign garnered a tremendous amount of publicity,” Ready said, “more than we ever imagined.”
In late July, all 17 finalists were flown out to California for in-person interviews. During the four-day trip, candidates toured the winery and vineyard, attended a blending seminar, and traveled around Sonoma to get a feel for the community.
So what did both of these women have that all the other 7,264 candidates did not?
“What stood out to us the most is that both women had a personal affinity and commitment to studying and engaging with wine outside of their 9-5 jobs,” Ready said.
“Both women impressed us from the start, not only with their professionalism and genuine love of wine, but we believe that both have a special expertise and perspective that can be brought to the wine industry from a different lens than most that come into this industry from an early age, or from a family lineage.”
He added: Hebbard has “a master’s in engineering and comes from one of the largest themed entertainment companies in the world.” And, Perry started her career in the “very dynamic sports marketing arena.”
On Sept. 1, both women will begin their wine journey adventure. Some of their exciting assignments will include learning all there is to know about wine from master winemaker Ready, right through the harvest. They will also experience other departments within the company, including marketing and finance before each woman moves into separate positions that will revolve around their skill-set and interests.
“It still doesn’t feel real!” Perry said.
Perry told Inside Edition Digital that “having the opportunity to shadow Dave, learn to make wine, and grow professionally through this year of exploration will change the trajectory of her life.”
“I’m so excited to get out to Sonoma and start this new journey already,” she said.
Hebbard is equally as excited to “dive headfirst into the vineyard and soak up as much knowledge” as she can.
“There is a certain feeling of destiny I have that fate has allowed me the opportunity to combine all my previous experience with my passion and merge it into a future in the wine industry,” she said.
If this sounded too good to be true, it was supposed to.
Murphy-Goode Winery and Vineyard originated in 1985 by three good friends, Tim Murphy, Dale Good, and Dave Ready during a weekly game of liar’s dice, according to the company’s website. The trio decided to make their love of wine official and hence Murphy-Goode was born. As its website explains, “their serious winery is built around a common concept: don’t take life so seriously.”
In March Inside Edition Digital wrote about this unique employment opportunity that posted enticing details about potential job duties that include “pivoting your career/life to create an adventure of a lifetime in the wine industry, acquiring strong knowledge of vineyards, winery operations, and wine in general,” and “learning the growing and dynamic world of E-commerce.”
”Looking for a change in your career and to pursue your passion? Do words like Cabernet, Rosé, and Chardonnay just roll off your tongue? Tell us why you want “A Really Goode Job,” the company asked on its application page.
Ah, truly, brilliant.
So, before you make that celebratory toast to both women, you may want to take note that Perry’s wine preference is reds, specifically Cabernet Sauvignon, and Hebbard prefers medium-bodied reds, such as the Pinot Noir and Grenache varieties.