How do I become a winegrower?

As a vine specialist, the viticulturist works exclusively on the vines. His main role is to produce the best grapes possible to enable the production of a quality wine. It's a profession open to everyone, from 3rd grade upwards.

Viticulteur and vigneron: what's the difference between these two wine professions?

Viticulturist and winemaker are two very distinct professions, yet they are often confused because of their different areas of expertise.

Also known as "the gardener of the vine", the viticulturist is a vine expert. He focuses on the planting, growth and well-being of the vines. He is constantly working to produce the best grapes possible to extract exceptional juice and obtain a quality wine. The viticulturist often owns their own vineyards, and also takes part in the harvest. He can also be part of a cooperative of several farmers.

He must be vigilant, and produce his grapes in compliance with general regulations and those specific to the appellation to which his wine will lay claim. In a cooperative, the different winegrowers must agree and adopt the same production and sales strategy.

Once his grapes have been harvested, he sells them to neighboring estates, winegrowers, cooperatives and merchants. This is the difference between the viticulturist and the winegrower. While the viticulturist only cultivates the vines, the winemaker is responsible for the entire wine production process. Once the wine has been bottled, he has to market his vintages, and is present at every stage: from negotiation to sales.

The winegrower can also be his own winemaker, producing wine from the grapes harvested on his estate. In this way, he is responsible for the entire wine-making process, from harvesting to bottling.

How do you become a viticulturist?

Becoming a viticulturist is accessible through short studies. However, it is also possible to extend your studies to deepen your skills:

  • From 9th grade :
    • Vocational Certificate in Agricultural Trades specializing in Vine and Wine
  • From the baccalaureate :
    • bac pro wine company management
    • bac pro food sales technician
  • Bac+2 level :
    • BTSA viticulture-oenology
  • Bac +3 level :
    • licence pro productions végétales
    • licence pro agroalimentaire: management, production and development
    • BUT Biological engineering
  • Bac +5 level :
    • National oenologist diploma
    • Master's degree in viticulture, oenology and economics
    • Master's degree in vine and wine sciences
    • Agricultural Engineering Degree with a specialization in Viticulture and Enology

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Aveine's advice

The viticulturist can take further training to become a vineyard manager, assisting the farmer. He can also become a winemaker and take part in the entire wine production chain.

How to become a reconversion winegrower

The winegrowing profession is also a career transition. For this, there are numerous continuing education courses in oenology. Other courses are also available, such as a BP (vocational diploma) in farm management, a BPA (vocational diploma) in vine and wine work, or a vocational training course in viticulture and oenology for those already working in the wine industry.

Training courses can be financed in various ways:

  • The CPF, for eligible training courses. It depends on accumulated working hours.
  • Assistance from another public body, such as the region or département. This aid is complementary to the CPF.
  • AIF or ARE, issued by Pôle emploi, for jobseekers.
  • The PTP allows employees to take time off work for training while retaining part of their salary and their job.

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