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Viticulture Courses overview
Viticulture is a subfield of horticulture which involves the study of growing grapes and everything that occurs in a vineyard. Viticulturists study the science behind grape production and are responsible for pest and disease control, irrigation, fertilisation, fruit development and characteristics. They are also responsible in managing the canopy on which the grapes grow, when to prune, and when to harvest the fruit. Winemakers also liaise with viticulturists in wine production.
Viticulture has a long and rich history which dates back more than 7,000 years. Early viticulturists domesticated grapes and developed pruning and cultivating techniques to maximize yield and enhance the flavor. They also developed the staking or trellis systems for growing grapes that are still in use today. (Read more)
Is viticulture for me?
Typically, a person who wishes to study viticulture has a particular interest in agriculture, growing vineyard or winemaking. A person who enters this field may find employment in a variety of countries and locales, and may be exposed to new cultures and ideas through the course of study and development, and if they work hard and persevere, may be responsible for a vineyard all their own.
There are many options to pursue a career in viticulture. You could take up a bachelor’s degree if you want to start your educational journey from the undergraduate level.
If you would like to further your education in viticulture, you may take postgraduate studies. These include a graduate diploma, graduate certificate or masters in viticulture. You could also continue to a doctorate degree (PhD) if you want to do in-depth research and study to contribute to the field of viticulture.
Students may also join Australian Society for Viticulture and Oenology through student membership. It is a non-political organisation that serves the interests of viticulture and winemaker practitioners by exchanging technical expertise.
Employment options and specialisations
Australia is one of the top ten wine producing countries in the world and is one of the few countries that produces every major wine style. This contributes to the demand for viticulturist not just in Australia but also in emerging wine-producing countries who seek professionals with a global approach to the subject and a strong understanding of the requirements of international markets. Some of the common employment opportunities in this field are:
Vineyard managers are responsible for the overall management of a vineyard or winery. Their main tasks involve the selection of suitable crop varieties; planting supervision, grapes assessment, irrigation, pest management, pruning and harvesting. (Read more)
Researches study new varieties of grapes and their suitability for different regions, fencing and harvesting practices, and disease control. They might work for a large wine producer, or within an institutional research setting. (Read more)
Wine cellar manager
Cellar managers are responsible for managing wine production equipment such as tanks, barrels, gases, and bottles that are used in the winery. They work alongside winemakers to produce wines in accordance with their market and specifications. (Read more)
Wine Tasters are professionals that have a deep passion for wines, their flavours and varieties. They provide expert assessment of wines for visitors, buyers or distributors. (Read more)
Sales and marketing
Sales representatives visit restaurants, meet wine directors and wine tasters and process orders from wineries and distributors. They can also play the role of marketing director, and may be involved in the design and development of marketing materials for selling wines. Marketing directors also conduct research work by meeting with various wineries, hotels and restaurants. (Read more)