Definition - What does Winemaker mean?

A winemaker is the title for a person who makes wine. They are responsible for many tasks in the production of wine from monitoring the maturity of the grapes to ensuring the quality of wine in the bottle. Winemakers reserve a place in history alongside wine itself, since the two emerged at the same time. They are essential to the production of wine and codependent on each other. Although winemakers have been around for longer, the title itself was first derived from Middle English (1300-1400).

WineFrog explains Winemaker

The winemaker, also known as a vintner or an oenologist, is probably the most important person at a winery. The responsibilities of a winemaker often intersect with those of vignerons, négociants and oenologists, so much so that all titles and terms are often used interchangeably (even though they each have their own unique definition). The winemaker’s responsibilities include:

  • Working with viticulturists on the development of the vineyard
  • Monitoring the maturity and quality of the grapes
  • Crushing and pressing fruit to create the juice and must
  • Monitoring the wine production and fermentation
  • Filtering and fining wine
  • Testing the quality of the wine
  • Aging wines in casks, barrels, tanks or bottles (depending on preferred style)
  • Preparing bottling and labeling plans for the wine once it is ready for bottling
  • Ensuring quality of the wine once it’s bottled and ready to hit the market shelves

Winemakers who aren’t working for their own personal estate are hired by and work for wineries and producers.

There are "flying winemakers" who work for several different estates across the world. Winemakers work with vintners (wine sellers), vignerons (vineyard managers) and sometimes négociants (wine merchants/traders).

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