The growing of grapes of grapes and production of wine, also known as viticulture and enology, is a centuries old practice. Wine itself was considered a holy, and had representations in many mythological pantheons, the most famous of which, Bacchus, was both merry and terrifying, possessing a duality of personality like the wine itself. Since the time learned to convert grapes into wine, the knowledge has been passed down by generation, resulting in variations, modification, experimentation and technological advancements to assist further in the process. Today, individuals wishing to enter the field typically seek out an education in viticulture and enology through programs available at colleges and universities located near vineyards, wineries, or in areas that have a climate conducive to growing healthy grapes.
What is Viticulture
At first glance someone might mistake this area of study as easy or not providing a well rounded education. The fact is that an education in viticulture and enology combines a variety of disciplines and sciences in order to produce a worthy product. Students at a given program will learn about soil quality, irrigation systems, run off, acidity, parasites and diseases, treatment, fertilization, nutritional balance and more. Students will be tasked with ensuring the longevity and growth of vines, how to protect such vines from inclimate weather,the grading and quality of grapes and then the use of those in the production of wine.
The process for creating a wine can vary based on personal taste, location, various elements in the soil that produced the grape, weather and so on. Enology provides methodology for producing the various types of wines, utilizing different grapes and additives to produce the desired taste. This includes the production of brandy and champagne, which is often not considered when considering wine production. An enology education will provide an individual with the skills, understanding and tools to create a final product, from the stamping of grapes, to understanding the fermentation process, to the right balance of sugar, and so on, it is here that the scientific exactitude of the process meets the centuries old feel for wine production. And only by understanding the process can winemaker personalize and tweak the process to give the wine a unique character.
Individuals seeking out an education in these fields will typically find colleges and universities that offer such programs in areas where the climate for grape growth allows for study and practice. Additionally, the school’s will be close to areas that have operational vineyards and wineries that may or may not have pre-existing internships for students. Regardless, it is prudent for students in this area to receive practical training through employment, even if only through volunteering, to better acquaint oneself with the actual process and production of wine. The wine production industry is small in comparison to other fields, and as such, an experience one may garner is a leg up in the search of employment after the completion of one’s education.
It is important to remember that due to the limited availability of positions, especially for individuals just starting their careers, that starting as an apprentice may be required. Education alone is no guarantee for success, and as such individuals should work hard and demonstrate flexibility, particularly in one’s willingness to relocate if required. Any opportunities one may encounter should be seized upon, and work should be performed accurately and diligently in order to generate reputation, as one’s name and reputation are often paired to their skill and ability.
Typically, a person who chooses to study viticulture and enology does so because they have a love of wine, its variance, its history, the cultural and social aspects to its consumption, or the sheer science of its production. The field is unique because it combines the ancient with the advanced, offering techniques and tools to create a drink that has been enjoyed by king and pauper alike. 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 vintage all their own.
About the Author:
Kami Lebaredian is a researcher and writer for MatchCollege.com, a free to use college and degree search website that assists students and career professionals to find the right school. Check out their list of top schools that offer a degree in viticulture and enology.