A career pathway in viticulture offers a range of opportunities to work hands-on and outdoors, whether you’re new to the industry or have transferable skills and experience.
Regardless of whether you’ve studied viticulture, there’s a nationwide demand for vineyard support staff, with opportunities to progress into vineyard management, machinery operation, and specialist viticulturist roles. There are also options to study while working to gain technical skills and qualifications.
The information below highlights the typical progression stages in viticulture, and with specialised study and transferred skills many more opportunities and pathways are available.
Assists with general vineyard and property maintenance. Maintains vines according to the growing cycle and may operatevineyard equipment. Ensures all daily vineyard operations are recorded by maintaining accurate records.
Skill level required: Entry level Experience: N/A
Vineyard Machinery Operator
Safely and efficiently operates vineyard machinery to conduct spraying, mowing, and special tasks. Maintains accurate operations records and assists with machinery maintenance.
Skill level required: Qualified and Experienced Experience: 1-3 years
Vineyard Supervisor/Leading Hand
Oversees the implementation of the tasks required for the daily operation of the vineyard. Ensures high standards for all vineyard tasks and may oversee vineyard staff. Assists with pest and disease monitoring and control. Operates vineyard machinery.
Skill level required: Experienced Experience: 1-3 years
Experienced in tractor and harvester maintenance with an understanding of the vineyard's hydraulic and auto-electrical systems. Key responsibilities include preventative and breakdown maintenance on vineyard mobile equipment and maintaining accurate service records. Usually qualified and/or experienced in engineering prior to entering the wine industry.
Skill level required: Qualified and Experienced Experience: 2-5 years
Oversees and manages all phases of vine planting and the growing cycle to achieve a good vintage yield. Management of vineyard operations, resources, staff and viticultural practices.
Skill level required: Experienced Experience: 3-5 years
Provides viticultural advice for propagation and growing of the vines, ensuring quality grapes are produced. Is the primary advisorfor all aspects of crop management, including strategic input into the choice of grape varieties, the growing characteristics of the area, and potential yields. Typically has Vineyard Managers and Technicians as direct reports.
Skill level required: Expert Experience: 5-10 years
Information regarding job descriptions and experience requirements have been sourced from relevant industry stakeholders and may be subject to change.
Rhys joined Indevin as a casual tractor driver, and worked his way up to his current role of Assistant Manager.
“If you are keen to take on responsibility and keen to learn and push yourself, there’s definitely a career path here,” he says.