Enologists are responsible for directing and overseeing the production of wine, from the crushing of the grapes to the bottling process. They examine samples of grapes and evaluate their condition, lack of pesticides, sweetness, and acidity. They also authenticate the variety of grape. They are responsible for making the decision as to when the harvesting starts, and the ensure safe and quick delivery of the grapes from vineyard to crusher. Enologists supervise crushing and fermentation workers, making sure they adhere to legal and regulatory requirements. Along with the cellar supervisor, enologists participate in the process of aging. But the enologist oversees the blending of grapes and improves the bottling techniques and methods.
The specific duties of enologists depend on the size of the winery for which they work. In larger wineries, enologists may serve principally as laboratory technicians. They supervise bottling line quality control and direct research and experimental work. In some companies, they may specialize in a particular type of wine, such as table wine or dessert wine. They often participate in the development of new products or the improvement of existing ones. They often suggest new areas to be planted in the vineyards and investigate new, promising varieties of grapes. Some are involved in public relations work.
Enologists should possess strong mental and emotional stability because the work often involves a great deal of decision making responsibility. They need to have excellent oral and written communication skills as well as sound interpersonal skills. They should also have a strong scientific aptitude.
Enologists earn a median hourly wage of $25.65. They usually work a 40-hour week, but may work overtime during harvest season, for which they receive compensatory time off during slow seasons. Many wineries offer sick leave, vacation, retirement, and health insurance plans. Larger companies may offer profit-sharing or stock-purchase plans. Housing and discounts on wine are often included as well.
Training and Education
Most enologist positions require a bachelor of science degree with a specialization in enology, although some wineries accept majors in related fields, such as food technology or chemistry. Business and public speaking experience or training is very advantageous. Most wineries prefer applicants with 1 to 3 years of experience in the industry, although summer work or internships in wineries can sometimes make up for resume deficiencies in this area.
High school students interested in becoming enologists should take the courses that are required for admission to enology programs. These usually include mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology. Scholarships are available from the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. Advancement in the occupation depends largely on the particular employer. In smaller wineries, enologists sometimes become part owners. In larger wineries, enologists may advance to higher level management positions such as production manager or vice-president. http://www.education-online-search.com/trade_schools/cosmetology_schools/cosmetology_schools.shtml
During the boom in the wine industry that occurred during the mid-1980s, enologists usually had little trouble finding desirable job offers. However, growth in the industry has slowed, as has enrollment in enology programs. Most job opportunities are expected to result from workers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.