The viticultural technical manager manages the vineyard and the winery, from the source to the production of the grapes to shipping. The technical director is also called the vineyard manager and reports to the management of the winery. He manages all the technical aspects and implements the company’s strategy, whether commercial or administrative. But what does his mission consist of?
What training is required for the position?
The vineyard manager should above all have knowledge of wine production and business management. As a manager, he should have a critical mind with regard to pedagogy and must be able to persuade. These skills are required in order to define new strategic directions and apply them internally.
Therefore, to become a winegrowing manager, the necessary training is oriented towards the courses to become an engineer in agriculture or agronomy as well as specialised techniques in viticulture-oenology. In addition to this, you will also need to obtain the National Diploma in Oenology. It certifies that you can know the markets and circuits for the distribution of wines externally.
The activities of a vineyard manager
He is in charge of monitoring the entire vine and wine production. He ensures quality and quantity, but also decides on the implementation of new techniques of vine treatment and vinification. He is also in charge of the sales policy as well as the implementation of marketing and communication strategies.
As a manager, he manages customer relations and prospecting for new customers. In short, this function brings together in one place all operations relating to production and distribution.
What are the skills of the vineyard manager?
As a wine manager is most of the time involved in a vineyard, to become a manager you will need to have knowledge of wine production. You can also broaden your field of study and show an ability to adapt. The vineyard manager will have to set up the maintenance and care (disbudding and leaf removal) until the trees or vines are fructified by pruning. He can even go and harvest the fruit depending on the instructions for ripening and grading. He takes care of the first level preventive/curative maintenance of the equipment.
You must have a real passion for wine but also a good sense of observation of the soil and the vines. A competent manager must be able to manage a team and lead it to obtain better results. The job also requires a good curiosity and openness to new practices. Be aware that a great diversity in the vineyard and the vintage each year makes the profession exciting and never routine. Managing a team is just as exciting, there is always room for improvement based on everyone’s ideas.