To become a winemaker, you can either try to make your own wine at home while learning as much as possible about the process — this will give you the skills you need to start your own business or get hired at a larger winery — or you can try to get a job at a winery and learn the skills you need to become a winemaker. There is no set educational requirement, and no degrees or certificates are required, but you will need to educate yourself on the winemaking process and become an expert on wines in general.
If you choose to work at a winery, you should expect to begin your career in a position that is far removed from the actual winemaking process. You might end up picking grapes, operating a bottling machine, or even driving a forklift, but this is an important step if you want to work as a winemaker: not only will you get to know the winery owners and managers, but you’ll also gain valuable insight into the winemaking process and possibly become an apprentice to the current winemaker.
Making your own wine at home is a great way to learn more about the process, but if you want to work as a professional winemaker, you’ll need to turn your hobinto a career. This will take time, effort, and money; starting a winery from the ground up is a very expensive endeavor, and only a few winemakers take this route. Starting at home will provide you with a solid foundation in winemaking as well as the confidence to pursue a position at a winery. However, don’t expect your small business to expand without a significant time and financial investment.
You can enroll in courses to learn some of the skills and knowledge required to become a winemaker. A winery, a community college, or an independent winemaker may offer these classes. You will be a more valuable candidate for a job at a winery or vineyard if you learn as much as possible about the winemaking process. This can help you on your way to becoming a winemaker in the future, but be prepared to put in a lot of time learning as much as you can about the process and the wines that are produced.