How to become a winemaker The figure of the winemaker is legally recognised only in Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland. It is in the process of becoming legally recognised by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Slovenia and Uruguay.
In the other member countries of the Union Internationale des Œnologues, even though the winemaker does not have a legally recognised qualification, he does have specific training in the sector, provided by specific bodies recognised by the state in accordance with the principles laid down by the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (an intergovernmental body) and the more restrictive standards laid down by the Union Internationale des Œnologues, which admits only national associations representing technical specialists with specific requirements or which are able to guarantee the real conformity of the training bodies, the appropriate nature of the study programmes, the acknowledgement of professional worth and the constant approval on the part of the government of the country in question, by means of suitable inspection and checking procedures.
At the moment, in nearly all the countries concerned the winemaker is trained at university level, by means of a three or five year degree course, in accordance with the educational system of the country in question. With regard to the training of winemakers in further education structures, the course may last for five to six years. During the first three of these, general subjects are studied, followed by specialist subjects in the remaining years of the course, including viticulture, the pathology of vines, winemaking legislation, oenology, fermentation, oenological mechanics and chemistry, sense analysis and so on.
For more specific and detailed information on these complex matters, see the web sites of the national associations or contact them directly.