Enologists oversee the production of wine. They inspect grapes and evaluate the crops to determine when to harvest and start wine production. They ensure proper crushing methods and techniques.
Responsibilities depend on the size of the winery. The enologist is heavily involved in quality control. One may work with a laboratory technician if employed by a larger winery. Another may develop
new wines or specialize in a specific wine in a larger winery.
The program provides the knowledge required to produce wines of the highest quality. Students learn the science, agriculture, and business skills necessary to enhance Minnesota’s rapidly growing wine
industry. Included is a foundation in chemistry and biology along with specific courses related to cultivar selection, soil preparation, cellar maintenance and marketing. The program is specifically designed to
include fieldwork and laboratory practicums at local wineries.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
1. Examine grape samples to ascertain sweetness and acidity of crop, and determine harvest time based off of this information
2. Select yeasts for fermentation and barrels for aging
3. Communicate with vineyard manager regarding crop load, harvest time, and other issues related to crop quality
4. Correct sugar and acid levels of must and wine if necessary
5. Oversee primary fermentation by punching down the grape skin cap, regulating fermentation temperature and the amount of time the skins are in contact with the must, and initiating malolactic fermentation
6. Supervise workers in crushing and pressing processes, or perform those duties themselves
7. Supervise cellar operations during secondary fermentation with tasks such as aging, topping off barrels, and clearing wine of fermentation residue
8. Direct and coordinate blending and bottling of wine, or perform those duties themselves
Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) is a consortium of colleges, including Central Lakes College, Northeast Iowa Community College, Missouri State University, Rend Lake (Ill.) Community College, and Redlands (Okla) Community College.
Winemaker, winemaking director, assistant winemaker, cellar master, cellar worker 2, enologist, lab technician, lab manager, tasting room manager.
Job opportunities in enology are tied to trends in the wine industry. Growing grapes in Minnesota is becoming increasingly popular. In 1975, Minnesota had two wineries. By 2007 there were 26. The
Minnesota Department of Agriculture reports an increase in both the number of farms growing grapes and total acreage. Employment opportunities are available locally, regionally and nationwide.