So you like to drink wine and your hobby is wine tasting, but does that mean you should become a winemaker?

Actor and Comedian John C. Reilly chugging a glass of wine saying,

Being a winemaker is "more than just making the wine."

Winemakers are in the field during growing and harvest seasons taking care of the grapes that turn into wine. This can include watering, pruning, and training the plants, plus keeping pests away. Don't forget about knowing what varieties of grapes grow best in which soil and climate.

The Actual Job

A vineyard worker's hand cutting grapes from a vine.

A wine maker in a winery bottling red wines.

Winemakers are often responsible for:

  • Working with viniculturists to discuss grape growing

  • Coordinate between the vineyard and winery

  • Perform lab tests to check grapes quality and when to harvest

  • Supervise the crushing of grapes and the creation of wine

  • Test wine to check for quality

  • Give advice on how to maintain vineyards and wineries

  • Determine the type and style of wine to meet the demands of the market

  • Offer guided tours and wine-tasting sessions

  • Write descriptions and tasting notes of the wines produced


What would a winemaker NOT do for their job?

So What Do I Need to Become a Winemaker?

  • A bachelor's degree: usually majoring in viticulture, enology, horticulture, food science, or wine science

  • Experience in the wine industry: become an apprentice, do an internship, or get an entry-level or seasonal job

  • Networking: connect with wineries and join tasting groups or clubs

  • Develop business skills: consider taking online courses or reaching out to professionals for advice

Have a look at the TikTok below for inspiration from Marisa Sergi, a winemaker who shadowed wine sales reps at the age of 19 before studying winemaking in college. She then started her wine label and pitched it to retailers. After 8 years of working and using her savings, she bought a winery!

Where Can You Find Work as a Winemaker?

Winemakers normally work:

  • At wineries, where they check the grapes, manage the fermentation process, and craft wine blends

  • In vineyards, where they "choose which grapes to grow" to make sure they're healthy and oversee the harvesting process

  • In wine cellars, where they "check temperature and humidity for proper grape aging and storage"

  • In tasting rooms, where they endorse new wines and make connections to gain support for their business

But Will It Pay the Bills?

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The annual salary for a winemaker in the US ranges $80K-$142K/year USD.

Average: $106K/yr

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The annual salary for a winemaker in Canada ranges $40K-$77K/year CAD.

Average: $56K/yr

You'll Love It If...

  • You're passionate about art and science.

  • You don't mind getting your hands dirty and have physical strength.

  • You're patient — the process takes time.

Max Greenfield as his character Schmidt in New Girl saying

Look For Another Career Path If...

  • Science courses and chemistry aren't your jam.

  • You don't want to do sales and marketing.

  • You want a typical 9-5 sit-at-a-desk job.

Actor and Comedian Chris Reed on Saturday Night Live saying

Pick The Future Wine Maker

Flaticon Icon Kelsey

  • Pretty shy, enjoys working from home

  • Loves music and art

Flaticon Icon Robert

  • Loves multitasking and working with his hands

  • Enjoys testing chemical reactions

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  • Enjoys happy hour beers with friends on weeknights after work

  • Loves working in an office building with a small team


Who does it sound like wine making is the best career path for?

Take Action

United States Senator, Bernie Sanders, saying

Does it sound like winemaking is the career path for you?


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