European Winery Jobs
European wines are often referred to as “old world wines”- in other words, the traditional wine growers and winemakers. Europe is extremely proud of its wine heritage and in many countries, it is celebrated daily.
However, according to a July 2007 article in Wine Spectator, the European Union has been covering up for its struggling wineries. Europe has a wine surplus (produces more than it sells), and it is speculated that the new players, or the new world wines, have contributed to this. South America and Australia wines were named as some of the low cost imported wines that are being chosen over the homegrown, traditional but expensive wines. Although wine is becoming more available and demanded by consumers, many are choosing quantity over quality. Apparently, the “Walmart” mentality isn’t strictly an American tradition.
France is a country rich in wine history and is considered the “birthplace” of wine culture. The major French wine-producing regions include the famous Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Loire, and Alsace, among others. Truly, France produces almost every type of grape and is known for a wide variety of wines. The job opportunities in France range from working on the vineyard to the winemaker to the store (if you can speak French).
Perhaps the country most of us think of when we think of wine, Italy, is the world’s largest wine exporter. However, Italy is also one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of wine. Italian wine is literally produced all over this tiny country, creating many opportunities throughout the numerous vineyards. With 1000+ grape varieties, Italy is not really known for a signature wine. With that said, over the past 20 years this country has started a new reputation away from the simple table wines and moved on to more notable and extravagant wines.
Although Spain has more vineyard area than any other competing country, the terroir (not enough moisture for the land) helps to place it only third in wine produced. Spanish wines have been mainly consumed within its own country, but in recent years have started to export it using a classification system. The highest classification has to do with the regions the grapes are grown in: Rioja, Priorate, and Ribera del Duero.
As a surprising 7th largest wine producer in the world, Portugal offers job opportunities for those seeking out the wine industry. After joining the EU, winemaking processes improved as did the quality of wine. Portuguese wine has risen to the top ranks of sought-after wine.
Germany balances some of the most difficult terroir with precise winemaking to produce arguably the best Rieslings in the world. Job opportunities exist within German wineries and vineyards throughout 13 regions located on or near the Rhine River.