Understanding Wine Making LanguagePosted by in wine makers
If a brewer makes beer, what is the name of a person that makes wine? Many people would say brewer, but this is incorrect. It also points to the fact that the titles of many positions in the wine industry are simply unknown. In this article, we look to shed some light on the subject.
Let’s start with the first question we’ve posed. Specifically, what is a person that makes wine called? Well, it is really a broad question because there is more than one position in the wine making process. While there are actually many, two are more important than others. Let’s take a closer look.
You need grapes to make wine. It doesn’t get much more obvious than that. Every vineyard has a person in charge of the vines and grape production. This person is known as a “viticulturist”. They are experts in all aspects of the grape production including timing, nutrient and disease issues. The viticulturist handles grape production for wine, but also plays a role in any grape oriented industry. For instance, grapes produced from grape juice are monitored by a viticulturist. Regardless, this must mean the viticulturist is the person we can designate as the wine maker, right? Not exactly.
Another person takes over the wine production process once that grapes are picked. This person is known as an “oenologist”. That is a lot to run over the tongue, so many people just call the oenologist a vintner or winemaker. I prefer vintner, but you can choose your own phrase. Regardless, this individual takes over the control of the grapes once they are picked. He is in charge of everything from the cleaning to formation to bottling process and every step in between. Put another way, the buck stops with the vintner.
An obvious question may have come to mind while reading the above. Is it common to have the viticulturist also be the vintner? It occurs from time to time, but not very often. The two disciplines are very different. One is very agriculturally oriented while the other is very much a classic brewing position. It is rare for one person to be skilled enough in both areas to pull off handling both positions.
There is one other position that is critical in the wine industry – the oenophile. That would be you and me. We are people that love to drink wine. The name, however, sounds like something illegal, so most people just stick to wine drinker!
I’m a wine maker!
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Wine makin’ / not only funny…
Part 1- Visit with Manfred Krankl, wine maker at SINE QUA NON (SQN) on THE SOURCE from www.TheWineryChannel.tv
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