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Viticulturist

 

Overview:

Viticulturists research and implement their findings to better help grape vines produce grapes that are of high quality and amount that is required for making wine.

 

What responsibilities will I have?

  • Production of grapes under a wide variety of natural conditions including preparation of the land, planting, trellising, pruning, monitoring and controlling of pests and diseases, fertilizing, irrigation and canopy management
  • Potential to manage both table and wine grapes
  • Understand optimum ripeness (fruit development and characteristics) and proper harvesting of grapes
  • Design and implement pest and disease control programs following pest management practices and a sustainable farming approach
  • Use plant, climate and soil moisture monitoring equipment for scheduling irrigation and modeling grapevine shape/phrenology
  • Diagnose and solve viticulture problems
  • Collect, organize and report viticulture data to support farming and marketing decisions
  • Possibly direct and supervise staff
  • Provide feedback and guidance to wine farmers/vineyard managers to yield the best results
  • Direct contact with the winemaker to communicate grape characteristics needed to begin the winemaking process

 

What education and training is required?

A bachelor’s degree in viticulture, oenology, or horticulture is required. A master’s degree in viticulture or oenology or horticulture is also often a requirement.

 

To pursue a career as a Viticulturist:

The following high school courses are recommended:  agricultural education, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

 

Typical Employers:

Typical employers are wine farms or estates, wine production companies, government agencies, colleges and universities or you may be self-employed.

 

Future Job Market/Outlook:

The future outlook for Viticulturist is projected to be good to excellent depending on the region.

 

Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations:

  • American Society for Enology and Viticulture
  • Winegrape Growers of America

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