Enologists are wine experts, widely knowledgeable abut wines and are often in charge of wine production in a given winery. They oversee every step of wine production, from start to finish. They are charged with ensuring that each specific wine is produced to the highest quality level and often work in close liaison with lab technicians. They also work closely with all departments in a wine production outfit to ascertain that all regulations and standards are met.
Enologist Job Responsibilities
The enologist is responsible for inspecting the grapes before they can be used. This applies to both grapes in the field if the company grows its own grapes and grapes delivered to the winery. They also determine when grapes are ready for harvest and production; and which harvests are used for specific types of wines. Most importantly, they determine when the wine production starts, based on several factors.
It is the responsibility of the enologist to ensure that grapes are transported safely to the production area. Throughout this movement, they should be handled in a way that retains their value and quality.
The enologist ensures that the proper grape crushing techniques are used in order to produce wine of the highest quality. They are responsible for maintaining quality control of all wines produced in the winery and for this work with the laboratory technician to ensure that all testing protocols are followed. They oversee the fermentation, blending and bottling processes as well.
Enologists are also responsible for developing new wines and depending on the size of the winery where they are working, may even specialize in a specific type of wine.
Enologist Training and Education Requirements
To become an enologist, one requires an undergraduate degree, preferably a Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in enology. To qualify for an enology degree course, you must undertake the relevant courses in high school, which include mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. This increases your chances of admission to university.
However, one can still enter the enology job market if they have a degree in a related field, considering the fact that the number of universities offering enology degrees has reduced. These are degrees in chemistry, crop and soil science and microbiology.
In addition, one must have experience and thorough knowledge about wines. Employers require between one and three years of experience to consider one knowledgeable enough for the job. Students hoping to become enologists can meet this requirement by taking up internships and summer jobs throughout their training program.
Enologist Salary and Wages
There are fewer job openings for enologists than for many other professionals. However, when one is competent enough, they can easily get a job. The number of graduates in enology is thankfully not so huge, and this makes it easier for fresh graduates to find jobs.
Demand for enologists in the next five years is expected to increase, largely because a large percentage of the current enologists are nearing their retirement age. This will leave a considerable number of openings for fresh enology graduates.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
As the number of small wineries continues to thrive in the country, enologists will have reliable jobs. Another way for enologists to earn is by starting their own wineries. This presents better prospects for earning, especially if one has specialist knowledge and experience producing specific wines.
On average, enologists earn an average of $60,000 a year. The starting salary is around $40,000. Enologists can also work on contractual basis. The wages for this are approximately $25 an hour.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Enologists intending to start their own wineries or export wine must be certified by the National Laboratory Center Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. To qualify for certification, one must be an enology graduate or a graduate chemist. This must be supported by educational and professional documentation to prove one’s qualification and abilities.
In addition, one must submit to the bureau director an analysis report of a sample of any red wine and another one of white wine. Alongside with this report, they must also provide 750 ml of each of the analyzed wines for analysis by the bureau chemists.
Most employers though do not require one to be certified before they can give them a job.
Enologist Professional Associations
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) is the main professional association for enologists. The association was established in 1950 and was originally made up of California winemakers and researchers from the University of California. Over the years, the association has expanded to establish nationwide membership. It currently has 2400 members and 100 industrial affiliates. It has three chapters: the Northwest Chapter, Eastern US Chapter and ASEV Japan Chapter.
It addresses and promotes the interests of wine growing, research and production. Under the association, enologists enjoy annual industry seminars, wine and grape symposiums, technical updates, research forums, online access to the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (including archives), ASEV e-newsletters and other publications.
Get Your Degree!
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer