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Career in Oenology

Oenology, or enology is the science and study of all aspects of wine and winemaking except vine-growing and grape-harvesting, which is a subfield called viticulture. “Viticulture and oenology” is a common designation for training programs and research centers that include both the “outdoors” and “indoors” aspects of wine production. An expert in the field of oenology is known as an oenologist.

What does an Oenologist do? According to the California Employment Development Department, an oenologist's primary responsibility is blending different grape varieties together to create a finished wine ( Generally, an oenologist's first duty in the winemaking process is to decide the appropriate time to harvest grapes.

After harvest, they direct the grape crushing process that results in a mixture called must. Oenologists heat the must after adding ingredients, such as yeast, sulfites and sugar, to trigger fermentation. They direct and manage the work of cellar assistants, who operate and maintain the various machines utilized during winemaking.

Oenologists supervise laboratory technicians who analyze samples of wine while it ages. Based on a wine's chemical composition, oenologists decide when a wine can be blended and bottled. Additional duties may vary by winery, but can include keeping production records, composing copy for wine bottle labels, developing new vineyards and selling to distributors and customers.

Key skills for Winemaker:

The ability to make accurate observations, analyze and solve problems

Communication and interpersonal skills

Wine-related science, such as chemistry, biology and microbiology, and laboratory skills

A superb sense of taste and smell

Knowledge of different wine styles and varieties

Knowledge of winery and vineyard technology

Knowledge in hygiene and sterilization methods


Understand the scientific principles behind wine production

Have a learned understanding of how to improve wine and develop fine wines

Develop an understanding of wine retail and market demand

Create an understanding with the chief viticulturist (vineyard manager) to improve the finished product

Work with marketing teams to be able to package and market the wine effectively


Winemakers oversee the entire winemaking process, from grape harvesting through bottling, and may be responsible for supervising the work of grape growers and laboratory technicians. They must possess a knowledge of grapes, growing regions, and local production and marketing regulations. Employers may prefer winemakers with a bachelor's degree in viticulture.

Required Education High School Diploma, a bachelor's degree in viticulture is recommended

Other Requirements Knowledge of grapes, growing regions, and local production and marketing regulations

Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% (agricultural and food scientists)

Job Outlook

A winemaker, also known as an enologist or vintner, oversees the entire production process of creating wine, including grape harvesting, crushing, fermentation, aging, blending and bottling. They combine scientific concepts with practical experience to alter a wine's chemical composition and make key decisions based on the levels of acid, sugar, sulfur and sulfite within a wine.

Winemakers also supervise the work of viticulturists, the grape growers who work for a winery or an independently owned vineyard. In the case of smaller wineries, a winemaker's responsibilities could begin with grape planting and extend through to the marketing and selling of the final product.

Average Winemaker Salary in India


Frequent Questions Asked

What are the requirements to Become a Winemaker?

There are no strict educational requirements for careers in wine production. A developed sense of smell and taste, as well as knowledge of grape varietals and growing regions, are essential. Aspiring winemakers can learn the various facets of the process on the job by starting as a cellar assistant. Completion of a bachelor's degree program in viticulture, enology, or in some cases, food science can provide an educational foundation necessary for work in a winery. Relevant courses include chemistry, biology, agricultural technology and sensory evaluation of wine.

Professional winemakers must be familiar with all production and marketing regulations in regions where their product is made and sold. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau sets these regulations, including how labels must disclose a wine's alcohol and sulfite content, blends of grape varietals, and regional origin. Additional regulations vary by state or international territory.

How many hours does a winemaker work?

Winemakers: usually work a 40-hour week, but during harvest will often work up to 100 hours a week. work in a winery, winery laboratory, office, or factory.

Why does wine turn to vinegar?

It's what makes vinegar, vinegar. Acetic acid is made by a bacteria known as acetobacter. This bacterium is everywhere: in the air, on fruit, on grape presses, etc. When acetobacter gets into your wine it can slowly turn the alcohol into acetic acid, if left unhindered.


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