Winemaking is a popular hobby and pursuit for many people who want to build their own wine collection and take part in a centuries-old tradition and activity. However, individuals interested in learning how to create professional-quality wine and bottle their creations can attend a wine making school for the hands-on experience and formal training. Some wine schools are designed for hobbyists and wine enthusiasts interested in enhancing their knowledge about wine, while other programs are more formal in structure and offer a diploma or degree.
Types of Wine Schools
Wine management school training programs offer students a chance to learn about hundreds of grape varietals from around the world, understand the pressing and barreling process in depth, and take part in the bottling process. Some wine making schools offer a diploma or certificate of completion after students have completed all components of the program.
Wine management programs offered through a college or university are typically a part of the enology department of a business program; these programs cover the aspects of the business and science of wine-making. A school of wine may offer are formal degree programs, giving students the opportunity to open up their own winemaking business or work within the wine industry.
Wine Making School Programs
In addition to seminars and tours conducted at area wineries, a wine making school program is designed to provide both in-classroom instruction and hands-on training. Common classes and courses that comprise a wine making school program include:
Career Options After Wine Management School
Individuals who enroll in wine management school at an accredited college or university can pursue a rewarding, lifelong career in viticulture and winemaking. Career options after wine management school include:
Oenologist â€“ serving as a professional winemaker to test grapes, ferment the juice, oversee cellaring and manage storage and maturation of the wine
Vineyard Manager â€“ a wine professional in charge of selecting different crop varieties, planting grape vines and pruning crops each season
Cellar Manager â€“ a wine professional responsible for storing wine so that it reaches full maturation, overseeing sales and providing tours for vendors and guests
Cellar Hand â€“ an assistant to the cellar manager who oversees the operations of the cellar, manages inventory and coordinates day-to-day operations
Wine Researcher â€“ a wine professional responsible for conducting field research studies to learn about the soil and vine preservation opportunities
Expert Winemaker/Enologist â€“ a wine professional responsible for the actual making of wine and spirits; may have a strong background in physics and chemistry
Enrolling in Wine School
Many people choose to enroll in wine school after discovering that they have a passion for winemaking and want to make a career out of their pursuits. Wine management school and training programs allow students to broaden their understanding and knowledge about wine from around the world, and learn the process of winemaking firsthand from professionals in the industry. Many wine making schools are built inside a vineyard, giving students a chance to work and learn in an idyllic setting.
Wine Making Schools: Admission Requirements
Students who wish to complete a basic diploma or certificate program in winemaking typically need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in the program. However, some wine schools are purely for hobbyists and wine enthusiast who want to increase their knowledge about wine and learn basic skills in winemaking; these types of wine education programs do not have strict enrollment or admission requirements, and may take place in a leisurely format as a continuing education course.
Students interested in pursuing viticulture or winemaking as a profession will need at least a Bachelor of Science in agricultural science, agribusiness or a related field. The wine management school training program is typically offered at the graduate level where students may achieve a Master of Wine Technology and Viticulture Degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science or a Graduate Diploma in Wine Technology and Viticulture. Some wine making schools also offer PhD programs for those who wish to enter the research field.
Wine Making Salary Potential and Employment Prospects
The wine industry continues to thrive as more people search for rare and unique types of wines and support for wineries and construction of winemaking facilities has remained relatively stable for the past few decades. According to WineBusiness.com, wine industry salaries continue to outpace the national average and those who work in the fields of marketing and sales typically earn higher salaries than those who work on the vineyard or the winery.
WineBusiness.com reports that winemakers in California earned an average of $81,562 in 2006, but compensation can vary significantly by geographic area. Salaries are also determined by the winemaker's case production for the season, and how well the winery or vineyard is marketed to the general public.