Viticulturists may find themselves working in vineyard pruning, trellising, canopy management, and irrigation; grapevine fertilization and mineral nutrition; grape varietal breeding, propagation, and selection; pest management and disease control through rootstock selection, pesticide use, and other vineyard management practices; or agricultural economics, marketing, and quality control. Because people are becoming more and more concerned about the environment and health, viticulturists today often find themselves working with government regulations ind in international marketing.
Viticulturists work for wineries, wine grape growers, growers and processors of raisin and table grapes, and juice processors. Opportunities are expanding for both hands-on viticulturists and for those in research and development as the industry makes advances in new vineyard management methods, more efficient harvesting techniques, environmental protection, water conservation, economic demands for high yield and quality, and regulatory compliance.
Viticulture appeals to many types of people -- from the outdoors person to the laboratory scientist, from the economist to the wine lover, from the ecologist to the engineer. Many educational disciplines and interests combine well with a basic agricultural and plant science education, and such combinations offer opportunities in specialized areas of viticulture.
In high school take courses in the sciences, basic agriculture, and communications. Develop your own special interests as you go through school.
-- JoAnne M. Rantz, American Journal of Enology and Viticulture