Winemaker 

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Winery Worker

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Service or PersuadingPractical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

Winemakers or Vintners plan, supervise and coordinate the production of wine or spirits from selected varieties of grapes. Future Growth Strong

Wine makers plan, organise and undertake the production of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages. They select grapes, organise their crushing and pressing and monitor the fermentation process, as well as filtering, bottling and packaging wine for sale. They research and develop new varieties and styles of wine, ensure that all their wine meets legal standards and specifications, supervise the activities of cellar personnel, and supervise the maintenance of the winery's laboratory, factory and cellar door areas. They may also market and sell wine, conduct tours, and train staff.


ANZSCO description: 234213: Plans, supervises and coordinates the production of wine or spirits from selected varieties of grapes.

Alternative names: Oenologist, Vintner

Knowledge, skills and attributesWine Tasting

A winemaker needs:

  • a passion for wine
  • good eyesight and an acute sense of smell and taste
  • the ability to undertake detailed tasks accurately
  • planning and organisational skills
  • analytical and observational skills
  • good interpersonal and communication skills



Duties and Tasks

Winemakers may perform the following tasks:

  • liaise with viticulturalists who manage planting programs and the cultivation and production of grapes
  • conduct various laboratory tests to monitor the progress of grapes to ensure their quality and to determine the correct time for harvest
  • organise the crushing and pressing of grapes, the settling of juice and the fermentation of grape material
  • direct the filtering of wine to remove remaining solids
  • conduct laboratory tests and monitor quality of wine
  • place filtered wine in casks or tanks for storage and maturation
  • prepare plans for bottling wine once it has matured and make sure that quality is maintained when the wine is bottled
  • supervise cellar personnel involved in the production of wine
  • supervise the maintenance of the vineyard and winery during the off-season
  • liaise with sales and marketing staff to make sure that the type, style and quality of wines produced will meet market demands
  • organise and supervise local and export wine sales
  • conduct technical in-service training for cellar staff
  • give guided tours, conduct tastings and advise visitors about various aspects of wine.

Specialisations:
Scientific knowledge is playing an increasingly important role in winemaking, and some winemakers specialise in the research and development of wine.

Winemakers working in large wineries are in charge of the technical side of the business. Those working in small wineries may be responsible for the whole winemaking process, from the growing of the grapes to the bottling and marketing of the finished wine.

Working conditions

Winemakers work in wineries, which are often situated in regional areas. They may work in the winery's laboratory, its factory, or its cellar door. They usually work regular business hours, although during harvest their working hours usually increase significantly, and may include evenings and weekends. They may travel locally to vineyards or bottling facilities, and nationally or internationally to view new grape varieties or attend conferences or wine exhibitions.

Cellar Door
Cellar Door sales

Tools and technologies

Wine makers use a variety of wine making equipment such as crushers and destemmers, grape presses, fermentation and filtration equipment, other wine making equipment like barrels and processing and tank accessories such as valves and pumps. They may also need to know how to use a cash register and EFTPOS or credit-card facilities if they are working in the cellar door.
 
Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a wine maker you usually need to complete a degree in viticulture and oenology or wine science. Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in agribusiness, or a science degree with a major in agricultural science, biological science or a related field, followed by a postgraduate qualification in oenology.

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