How Do I Become an Enologist?

Enologist jobs entail overseeing every step of the winemaking process to ensure the highest possible quality. A bachelor’s degree in enology or a related field, such as food technology or chemistry, is required to become an enologist, with enology courses included in the program. Because you will be selling wine to distributors, you should have a business and marketing background. Aside from education, wineries prefer candidates with one to three years of industry experience, and ongoing training is required to keep up with new wines and developments in the field. Personal characteristics are also required, as they are in any profession.

An enologist’s education can begin in high school and continue through college. Students interested in this field should take courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, as well as biology, to meet the admission requirements for a college enology program. Courses in sensory wine evaluation, wine technology, and organic chemistry will prepare you for this career once you start college.

Aside from education, some personal characteristics can help someone pursue a career as an enologist. Because an enologist is responsible for a winery’s profitability, you must be mentally and emotionally stable to handle the responsibilities and make sound decisions for long-term goals as well as emergency situations. Personal enologist requirements also include good communication and public speaking skills, which are necessary for effectively sharing information on various wine topics.

Enologist responsibilities cover all aspects of winemaking and can vary depending on the size of the winery. Crushing, fermentation, and clarification, as well as aging, blending, and bottling, will be directed enologists. They test grape sweetness and acidity, as well as authenticate grape varieties and ensure pesticide residues aren’t present. Their primary role is in blending, where they use formulas in conjunction with their knowledge to create the wine product. An enologist’s primary responsibility in a large winery may be to direct laboratory research.

Opportunities for advancement for enologists are dependent on where they work and how long they’ve been in the field. You can advance to management positions such as production manager or vice president in larger wineries, while you can become a part owner in smaller wineries if you are not the original owner. Enologists are also sometimes hired as consultants breweries and other food-related businesses.