What to expect from a career in the Wine Industry
While programs that center on learning the finer points of the wine industry sound like a lot of fun, it does take a lot of knowledge, training and technique to pursue a career in the field. Wine and viticulture programs at Ontario colleges equip students with business and marketing skills as well as knowledge of wine and winemaking to prepare them for careers as wine and viticulture technicians, winemakers, vineyard managers and much more.
If you’ve got more than just a taste for wine, and want to channel your interest into a successful career in the wine industry, here’s what you need to know.
Wine and Viticulture Courses
Ontario college wine and viticulture programs focus on different aspects of the industry:
- Wine Business Management. Students learn the fundamentals of retail and marketing in the wine industry, from exporting to event management. Sales, marketing, public relations and business courses are emphasized, in addition to courses in wine production and wine and viticulture environmental practices.
- Wine and Beverage Management. These programs combine hospitality training with expert knowledge of the wine industry. Courses in wine and food matching and wine appreciation are matched with courses on business leadership, menu design, and budgeting to prepare students to work as wine experts in restaurants, resorts, catering companies, or to take on other wine industry careers.
- Winery and Viticulture Technician. These programs also cover the marketing and sales angle of the wine industry, but will focus more heavily on vineyard and cellar operations. Courses on soils and fertilizers, pruning, and pest management are mixed with science-based classes on wine chemistry and vine biology.
General Wine and Viticulture Program Requirements
Wine and viticulture technician programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. For some programs, students must be at least 19 years of age on the first day of classes.
Post-graduate wine and viticulture programs, such as wine business management and wine and beverage management, will require completion of a hospitality diploma or degree program.
Wine and Viticulture Jobs and Salaries
Graduates from Ontario college wine and viticulture programs can pursue a variety of careers, from working in a winery or vineyard to being a wine expert in beverage or catering companies, resorts and many other organizations.
Salaries in the field depend on the position you hold. Those in the management and hospitality industry could expect starting salaries of roughly $25,000 to $30,000 per year, with wage increases based on continuing education, experience and expertise. Winery and viticulture technician salaries, as well as those of other careers in the production side of the wine business, typically start a bit higher, in the mid-$30,000 range.
Ontario Colleges Offering Wine and Viticulture Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of wine and viticulture programs at Ontario colleges.