A wine technician’s work involves running wine samples through the lab, testing and adding ingredients, and working on the wine press to extract the juice from grapes. In the lab, you are responsible for analysing the wine at all stages from crushed fruit to bottling the wine.
What the job looks like
starts at $35,000 up to $42,000+
- Learning about fruit quality and how different factors can change the taste
- Having a hands-on job
- Working with different chemicals and equipment
- Helping produce a top quality batch of wine
- Working in beautiful parts of the country
- Potential to travel
The not so good
- Hours and shifts can sometimes be irregular
- Physically demanding and requires constant concentration
A wine technician analyses wine at all the different stages between harvesting and bottling. You will conduct chemical processes to test the wine, particularly to check for bacteria or yeast in bottled wines.
Your role comes down to quality control, managing a wine and knowing what is happening to it at each stage. A bad batch could cost your vineyard it's reputation and a lot of money.
Although the role can be physically demanding and involve long hours, you get to work in beautiful regions of the world and have the potential to travel for courses and to enhance your knowledge of other wine regions.
There is a lot of science involved with wine making. Conducting laboratory analysis is almost part of the daily routine. Depending on the results you might adapt a batch by adding things to the wine or changing the temperatures of tanks during fermentation. Having a solid understanding of maths is really important to ensure you understand chemical processes and know how much to add to a wine batch depending on the volume of the tank and the chemical reaction it might cause.
If you enjoy science and are interested in the wine industry, then a career as a wine technician could be for you.
It’s dirty, it’s messy, it’s heavy and the final product is so worth it.
Pathways to this career
Subject suggestions for the HSC
Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.
Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.
- English (Standard or higher)
- Mathematics (2 unit or higher)
What can I do after I have finished school?
Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.
- Bachelor of Viticulture
- Bachelor of Wine Science
- Bachelor of Food Science
- Bachelor of Applied Science
Courses and qualifications
Courses and qualifications can give you a great start.
- Diploma of Viticulture
Take a tour around a winery - the lab and cellar environments are very different from the cellar door
- When you turn 18, look for work experience with a winery. Practical experience is really important
- If there is a vineyard in your local area that does hand picking during the harvest season, ask to be involved
- Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study