New jobs in the wine sector
We all know the traditional jobs in the wine sector: oenologist, agronomist, sommelier, but behind these essential figures there are many others, often overlooked but equally important, especially in light of recent changes in the sector and developments in digital technology. Let’s take a look at some of these new jobs in the wine sector.
The digital transformation has affected all areas of employment, not least the wine sector. From constantly-evolving social media platforms to innovations that have paved the way for digital growth, navigating the challenges and opportunities provided by these new mediums isn’t easy. That’s why specific skills are required for wine communication and marketing, with the roles of graphic designer, illustrator, copywriter, photographer and videomaker, as well as wine influencers and ambassadors, all requiring the acquisition of certain specific skills. These roles can all be described as creative because they require the use of the imagination to translate into words, photos and images the story behind a brand, individual or wine. This process requires technical expertise and communication skills that cannot be improvised. In this context, it is essential to recognize and harness the talent of professionals who have such specific skills.
A sustainable role
Sustainability is increasingly important, and not only in vineyard. In fact, sustainability also impacts on packaging and transport, with the issue of economic and social sustainability becoming increasingly visible. Investing in sustainability is not only an investment in the territory, but also in the well-being and satisfaction of those who live and work there, supporting social and cultural activities that go well beyond the boundaries of the winery. For this reason, specific roles have been created, such as the sustainable viticulture consultant. These professionals have the task of helping companies to understand critical issues related to sustainability and suggesting the best strategies for the vinery depending on context, terroir and oenological objectives. These professionals are increasingly in demand, not least because of the difficulties the entire agricultural sector is facing due to climate change. The contribution of the wine sector, through the commitment of wineries to adopt strategies that minimize the impact on the environment and on society, must be made explicit.
Working in wine tourism and hospitality
Wine tourism is a leading sector for Italian tourism. The data is clear: in 2021, about 13% of bookings made on the Tripadvisor portal for Italy concerned food and wine-related activities. Wine tourism and hospitality are also important growth areas for the winery. More and more people are interested in visiting the winery and getting closer to the territory through experiences in the vineyard and guided tours. By visiting the cellar and the vineyards, the customer can immerse themselves in the ambience that surrounds the wine sector and appreciate the true identity of the winery. Just as wine tourism has changed in recent years, the professions in the sector have also undergone change. The hospitality manager must be able to attract the right type of customers and design bespoke activities, from tastings, to events, to themed guided tours, in order to meet the demands of a large and diverse range of visitors. It is necessary for them to have an understanding of the mechanisms that regulate tourist flows, as well as good communication skills, linguistic and oenological knowledge. It is an increasingly important role that requires talent, flexibility and experience working alongside other professionals in the sector.
Wine education has undergone major changes since the global pandemic, changes that have revolutionized the tools for teaching wine courses and certifications. Precisely because so many skills are required in the world of wine, ongoing training and education are fundamental. Through lectures, courses, forums and events, professionals can keep up to date and well-informed of the latest developments in sector. This is the role of the wine educator: to help professionals to grow through dissemination and training, and to spread the culture of wine. It is important to keep up to date not only on technical subjects, related to the more traditional professions of oenologist and sommelier, but also the ‘softer skills’ related to the professions considered “lateral”, such as those of communication and hospitality. The wine2wine Business Forum has been pursuing this agenda for nine years.
These are just some of the most in demand new professions in the wine sector. To keep up with the times (and with the competition), wineries must hire professionals with specific skill sets. Identifying those who have such skills and valuing their talent is the first fundamental step to stay ahead of the curve in the jobs market. How are you managing? Why not reply on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter by tagging wine2wine.