Careers in the wine industry

If you’re considering a career change or are about to embark on your first career, you have many options to choose from. You should be sure to choose a career that will be financially rewarding and that you will enjoy. If you’re a wine lover, there are many careers in the wine industry that you can choose from.


Most people will likely think of careers in the wine industry as those that involve working in the vineyards or in the wineries themselves, working with the actual production of wine. In fact, many of the careers in the wine industry do fall into this category. If you also enjoy building things, you could become a cooper, the person who crafts the barrels that the wine ages in. If you’re more interested in dealing with the wine itself, you can start out as a cellar rat, the person who does the physical work of winemaking. You would be responsible for cleaning and prepping equipment, stirring tanks, etc. From there, you can work your way up to cellar master, who supervises cellar rats, orders equipment, and works closely with the winemakers.

Once you’ve become a cellar master, the next step up is winemaker. Winemakers decide what grapes to use for the wine and when to harvest them. A winemaker also is closely involved with suppliers and distributors, and has a hand in construction projects and staff decisions such as hiring.

The various stages of a winery career can be reached through working your way up in the company, but apprenticeships and formal degrees will help you reach your career goals faster. The higher the position, the more likely a formal degree will be required to obtain it.

If you’d rather not work in the wineries themselves, there are other careers in the wine industry to choose from. You can choose to work in distribution, for example. Wine distributors may be responsible for imports and exports, marketing, auctioning, or sales. A great deal of travel is often involved with these positions.

There is a final option for a career in the wine industry if you’d rather not work in the wineries or travel a lot. You can own or work in a retail store, bar or restaurant that sells or serves wine. These careers do not all deal directly with the public, however. For example, wine directors choose the wine list for restaurants and train waiters to help diners choose the perfect wine for their meals. Wine directors also work closely with the master chef to plan wine and food menus that will go together well.

Careers in the wine industry are numerous, with a large range of duties and requirements. You can easily find a wine career that you can qualify for and that has duties you are comfortable performing. Turning your passion for wine into a career can be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll ever make, if you take a little time to determine which wine career is perfect for you.