How to become a Winery Worker

Winery workers are involved in growing grapes and making, bottling, warehousing, packaging, distributing and selling wine in Australia and overseas.

Personal requirements of a Winery Worker

  • Enjoy practical activities
  • Able to undertake manual work
  • Able to work quickly and reliably
  • Good with numbers
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Safety-conscious

Education & Training for a Winery Worker

You can work as a winery worker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have relevant qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in wine industry operations or a related course. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a winery worker through a traineeship in Wine Industry Operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Winery Worker

Winery workers may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare soil, plant vines and cultivate and fertilise crops
  • construct wire trellises to support vines and fruit
  • control weeds, diseases and pests
  • assist in making wine by operating equipment to crush and ferment the grapes
  • assist in bottle fermentation by twining (turning the bottles) and re-topping during the process (for sparkling wines)
  • operate equipment to clarify and filter wine
  • make additions to wine, and blend and transfer wine during maturation
  • prepare wine for bottling
  • assist with barrel work and racking
  • assist with bottling, corking and general cleaning
  • assist in forwarding export orders
  • operate cellar door, including sales and administration.

Working conditions for a Winery Worker

A winery worker may be involved in all aspects of vineyard and cellar work or may specialise in one or more areas, such as cellar work, bottling, laboratory work, vineyard work, warehousing and packing, cellar door sales or export orders, depending on the size and type of winery.

Employment Opportunities for a Winery Worker

Most employment is in NSW, SA, Victoria and WA, with smaller wine industries present in Queensland and Tasmania. Wineries vary in size from small operations (perhaps family-owned) to large companies employing many people. Most positions for winery workers are seasonal and on a casual basis, with the strongest demand over the pruning and harvesting periods in the above-mentioned states. Formal training will enhance your long-term career prospects. Employment for cellar door attendants is linked to the wine tourism industry.


Winery Supervisor

A winery supervisor provides on-the-job training to less experienced employees. Duties may include supervising process operations and coordinating the activities of workers; collecting, analysing and presenting statistical data; and carrying out environmental management programmes including food safety and occupational health and safety procedures.

Additional Information
If you are over 18 years of age, you can undertake training to obtain a licence to Perform High Risk Work to operate a forklift or boiler, which may improve your employment prospects. See the separate entries for Forklift Operator or Machine Operator (Non-metal products) for more details.
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