From Novice To Expert: How To Enter The Wine Industry

You love wine, so why not pursue a career in it? But knowing how to get into the wine industry is very different from knowing the different styles of wine. Turning your passion into your profession requires determination, investment of both time and money and above all, a knowledge of the industry so that you can steer yourself in the right direction. This also applies to wine, which might seem like a small-scale industry, but is so diverse that without a well-thought-out strategy, it is easy to lose sight of your goal.

How to get into the wine industry

Enthusiasts who want to work in the wine sector as professionals and earn a paycheck that is worth their knowledge and hard work should keep the following points in mind:

Find your field: 

So, you want to work in the wine industry. But what exactly do you want to do? If you want to be on the right path from the start in this field, it is important to understand the structure of the wine industry and the work opportunities it creates.

Speaking broadly, the wine industry has four key sectors- winemaking, import and distribution, sales and marketing, and wine education. Each sector caters to a different set of interests and requires specific qualities. Before starting your wine career, introspect on your areas of interest and analyse your skills and qualities. Are you interested in the process of producing wine or in serving it? Does your passion lie in bringing exquisite wines from across the world to Indian consumers or in educating them to develop a refined palate? Do you think you have a knack for viticulture or do you take pride in your business acumen?

Once you have answers to these questions, you can plan your education, training and career in wine accordingly.

Invest in wine education: 

Wine is a skill and knowledge-driven industry where one cannot flourish without the other. No matter what sector you choose to work in, wine education will create a strong foundation on which you can build a flourishing career. There are numerous wine courses available today that are tailored for novices or experts, and everyone in between. Depending on your starting point, choose a course and don’t just settle for one.

From making wine to marketing and serving it, all aspects of the industry are interconnected. A wine seller who is well-versed in the process of winemaking will not only value the product they are pitching more but will also leave a good impression on the businesses they are representing or catering to.

Sonal Holland Wine Academy offers wine courses for every level of expertise. Check out our WSET courses if you want to buff up your resume. If you are a beginner, check out our Certified Wine Pro course. But if you want to learn about how wine is made, we will recommend our Wine-making in India course. Besides, thanks to online wine courses, wine education isn’t just for urban wine lovers anymore. You can study anytime, anywhere you want.

Meet people in the fraternity:

To understand how an industry functions, you have to know how people associated with it work. This is why it is important to meet people from the wine industry at any opportunity that you get. Also, make sure that you develop connections outside of your stream as well. As we said above, wine is a tight-knit, interdependent industry. Everyone knows everyone (almost) and no aspect of the industry can thrive without the others.

Meeting other people from the wine fraternity will not only open doors but will also be a source of encouragement, advice and information that can help you take the right calls in your career.

Be out in the field: 

Expertise in wine doesn’t just come from drinking wine, developing business skills or learning theory. You have to see this world up, close and personal. You must constantly update your knowledge and be aware of what is going on in the industry. The best way to do that is to be out in the field. Attending events like wine tastings, expos, wine pairing classes etc., is a good way to mingle with those who inhabit the world of wine, both as consumers and service providers.

Here's an additional tip on how to get into the wine industry: Be fearless in your approach. It doesn’t matter if you are unaware of wine-producing regions in France or cannot pronounce their names accurately. Don’t let these things divert your attention from your goal. Even the most revered of wine experts will agree that learning in this field never stops, all you have to do is to keep at it.