How to become a Viticulturist

Viticulturists plan, supervise and coordinate the growing of selected grape varieties for the production of wine, dried fruit or table grapes.

Personal requirements of a Viticulturist

  • Interested in horticulture or agriculture
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Able to make accurate observations
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Enjoy outdoor work
  • Willingness to live and work in regional areas
  • Able to manage plant allergies and hay fever

Education & Training for a Viticulturist

To become a viticulturist you usually have to study viticulture and oenology at university. Alternatively, you can become a viticulturist by completing a degree in science, applied science or agricultural science at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics and chemistry are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional Information

The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology provides technical information to members who work in the grape and wine industry.

Duties & Tasks of a Viticulturist

Viticulturists:

  • manage the operations of the vineyard, including soil management, irrigation, and disease and weed control
  • direct and oversee general growing activities such as harvesting and pruning
  • liaise with grape buyers and winemakers
  • monitor grape maturity to ensure their quality and calculate the correct time for harvest
  • recruit, supervise, manage and train winery workers involved in the production and harvesting of grapes
  • give guided tours, conduct tastings and advise visitors about various aspects of wine and grapes
  • keep records of techniques used and harvest outcomes for each season.

Working conditions for a Viticulturist

Viticulturists spend a lot of time outdoors in vineyards, but also work indoors in laboratories, offices and grape processing facilities. Knowledge of science and business management is increasingly important in viticulture.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,669

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 1%

NSW NSW 24.9%

NT NT 0.3%

QLD QLD 15.8%

SA SA 14.8%

TAS TAS 1.4%

VIC VIC 25.8%

WA WA 15.9%

Hours worked:

39.5

Unemployment:

Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 70%

Female 30%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.6%

20-24 - 1.5%

25-34 - 40.7%

35-44 - 24.1%

45-54 - 18.2%

55-59 - 8.4%

60-64 - 0%

65 and Over - 6.6%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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