Viticulturists study the growing processes of grape vines and apply their knowledge to increase the amount and quality of grapes necessary for wine production. They must understand optimum ripeness and proper harvesting of grapes. They also design and implement pest and disease control programs following pest management practices and a sustainable farming approach.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?
- Produce grapes under a wide variety of natural conditions
- Assist in grape processing including gape and juice reception, destemming, crushing and pressing
- Manage both table and wine grapes and monitor for quality control
- Understand optimum ripeness and proper harvesting of grapes
- Design and implement pest and disease control programs and coordinate with pest control professionals when necessary
- Use plant, climate and soil moisture monitoring equipment for scheduling irrigation
- Diagnose and solve grape production problems
- Collect, organize and report viticulture data to support farming and marketing decisions
- Direct and supervise staff to maintain an efficient workplace
- Provide feedback and guidance to wine farmers/vineyard managers to yield the best results
- Maintain direct contact with the winemaker to communicate grape characteristics needed to begin the winemaking process
- Maintain and clean equipment including managing pumps, clamps, hoses, etc.
Recommended High School Courses:
- agricultural education, especially plant science
- family and consumer sciences
A bachelor’s degree in viticulture, enology, food science, crop science or a related field is required. A master’s degree in one of these areas is often preferred for a viticulturist.