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 for 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.

Tasks

  • May select, train and supervise staff and contractors..
  • Co-ordinates the production and marketing of grapes..
  • Plants seedlings and grafts new varieties to root stocks..
  • Oversees general farming activities such as fertilising and the control of pests and weeds..
  • Maintains crop production by cultivating, de-budding and pruning, as well as maintaining optimal growing conditions..
  • Maintains buildings, fences, equipment and water supply systems..
  • Conducts farming operations, such as collecting, storing, grading and packaging produce, and organising the sale, purchase and dispatch of produce..
  • Evaluates records of activities, monitoring market activity, and planning crop preparation and production to meet contract requirements and market demand..
  • Manages business capital including budgeting, taxation, debt and loan management..

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.


Specializations

Viticulturist

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

  • Average age
    Average age
    53 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    20% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    48 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,788
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    76% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    4,100 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.1%
    NSW: 14.6%
    NT: 0.1%
    QLD: 1.7%
    SA: 40.2%
    TAS: 3.5%
    VIC: 30.1%
    WA: 9.6%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.3%
    20-24: 2.1%
    25-34: 8.8%
    35-44: 19.8%
    45-54: 23.2%
    55-59: 12.6%
    60-64: 11.9%
    65 and Over: 21.3%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 11.7%
    Bachelor degree: 16.5%
    Certificate III/IV: 17.8%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 4.3%
    Year 10 and below: 24.9%
    Year 11: 9.4%
    Year 12: 15.3%
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