How To Get Into The Wine Industry: Insights From Sonal C Holland MW

If you have been wondering how to get into the wine industry you are not alone. Wine is a sunrise industry in India, and as it continues to grow at an astounding rate, people who want to pursue it are seeking a clear-cut path to success.

There are very few people who have clarity about pursuing wine right from the start of their career. Many others start out in fields like food and beverage, hospitality etc., and eventually find their way to wine. However, these professionals have the benefit of shared skill set and experience which helps them enter the wine industry.

To figure out how to get into the wine industry, first you need to understand what kind of opportunities it holds for you. Wine industry can be broadly divided into three sectors:

Production: Let’s start where it all begins- if viticulture is your forte and you aspire to be a winemaker, then this is the sector for you. To start your career, you can look for an internship or entry-level job as a vineyard worker where you get an understanding of different aspects of winemaking like grape growing, harvesting, fermentation, bottling, etc.

Management: Usually, this sector suits professionals from other industries that are tangentially related to wine. If you have work experience or interest in executive management, law, packaging, logistics etc., then wine is a great emerging industry for you to test your skills and shape your career in an unconventional way.

Retail and Hospitality: People who work in hospitality and retail have great communication and customer service skills, and they might also have some experience in serving or selling wine among other alcoholic beverages. Many professionals from these sectors in India are now turning to the wine industry because they have a genuine interest in the subject or see it hold a highly promising prospect.

How to get into the wine industry: Here are some useful tips

Get a jumpstart with wine education: Wine education will not only give you a command of the subject and boost your career prospects, but it will also help you get a picture of the industry. This orientation can come in handy as you try to figure out your place in the world of wine. At Sonal Holland Wine Academy, our educators will answer any career-related queries that you may have, drawing from their own experience and expertise. The academy is also a great place to meet your peers and build your network into the industry.

Start networking: Since we are on the subject, let us discuss why networking is so crucial. Wine is a niche industry where everyone knows everyone. Building your network in the industry is easy if you know where to start. Attend wine tastings, enrol for wine courses, visit expos and vineyards and use the power of social media to your advantage. Building a network will present you with career opportunities, start a study group and find people with the same interests who can also be a part of your social circle. Working in a niche industry can also lead to a sense of isolation, but with networking, you’ll find your tribe and cultivate a belief that this is where you belong.

Gain Experience: Work experience in the wine industry will give you an insight into the industry and how the system works. Training as a wait staff or salesperson, or doing a summer job at a winery are all good ways to polish your skills and get to know the people and culture of the industry. Work experience will also play a big role in shaping your career as you will identify your strengths, weaknesses and interests. For example, you might have your eyes set on the role of a wine sommelier, but after working in the cellar, you might realise that this role is not for you. 

Embark on your wine education journey with Sonal Holland Wine Academy. We provide beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses in wine, along with 100 percent placement assistance to help you enter the industry with confidence. From WSET certifications to our proprietary wine courses, click here and choose from a wide array of courses to ensure that your wine career gets the best possible start. If you cannot make up your mind on what certification will help your career the most, write to us at [email protected] and discuss your wine education prospects with our executives.