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 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