What they do
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.
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. Wine makers may work in any of Western Australia's many wine regions, either in the Swan Valley, the South West or the Great Southern region.
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.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a wine maker you usually need to study a degree in viticulture and oenology or wine science.
No universities in Western Australia offer courses in viticulture and oenology or wine science. Relevant courses are offered at Eastern States universities, some of which can be studied externally. The Bachelor of Science (majoring in Wine Science) at the University of Southern Queensland and the Bachelor of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University are both offered externally.
Alternatively, you can study a degree in a relevant area such as agribusiness, agricultural science, chemistry, biological science or a related field, followed by a postgraduate qualification in oenology.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate courses.
Relevant postgraduate courses are available at some Eastern States universities. Charles Sturt University and the University of Southern Queensland both offer external study options.
Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.