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Enology Degree: What to expect?

If wine is the nectar of the gods, then those with enology degrees must be the human equivalent of a sugar-producing plant. This type of degree allows oenophiles to turn their love into a career, as they learn the ways of the grape to improve everything about wine, from its taste to its looks.


A degree in winemaking might sound like you’ll spend your days swirling, spitting, and more than just a little tipsy, but in reality, you’ll spend most of your time in the lab or out in the field, as enology and viticulture degrees are heavy in the sciences and agriculture. Typical classes include organic chemistry, biology, and horticulture. But of course, there’s also the fun stuff: You can get credit for electives like general winemaking, winery equipment, and basic cellar practices.

As of now, there aren’t many universities offering degrees in this field, and the ones that do tend to be focused in wine-heavy areas. This means you should look for schools in California (especially near Napa), Washington, and New York. Schools offer everything from certificates to bachelor’s degrees to master’s and doctoral degrees.

Next Step

Once you’ve finished your degree, start looking for jobs at wineries and research labs. Though you might initially associate this degree with the position of Wine Sommelier, your schooling actually sets you up more for the production side of things rather than pairing. Positions include Lab Technician, Cellar Worker, Wine Critic, Wine Consultant, and Vineyard Manager.

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