Learn to make different types of wine, assess and analyse wine quality, investigate the chemistry and microorganisms involved in wine processing, and oversee the entire winemaking process.

Course CodeBHT258
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn to Make Wine

Wine making (known as "oenology") is an industry that can be traced back thousands of years. It has been a significant industry since the dawn of civilisation and remains such today. Producing wine is today a very technical process involving a sound understanding of science, but also a fine tuned appreciation of the human senses. This course deepens your awareness of both.

Why would you study this course?

  • Learn to make better wine
  • Learn to improve the quality of wine you make
  • Value add and diversify on a farm – to increase profit and sustainability
  • Work in other areas of the wine industry

This Course is for:

  • People who grow grapes
  • People who make wine
  • People who work in the wine media (writers, photographers, social media influencers)
  • People who trade in wine - retailers, wholesalers
  • Anyone with an interest in the process of wine making and/or the end product.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Oenology
    • Introduction
    • Global Wine Production
    • Global Wine Consumption
    • What Is Involved in Winemaking
    • Wine Making Terminology
    • Testing, Tasting and Monitoring
    • What Can Go Wrong In Winemaking
    • Alcohol And Health
  2. Fermentation Science
    • Fermentation
    • Carbohydrates
    • Microbiology
    • Enzymes
    • Quality control
    • Malolactic fermentation
    • Secondary fermentation
  3. The Winemaking Process
    • Outline of the winemaking process
    • Clarification and Stabalisation
    • Preservation
    • Methods to determine sugar and sulphur dioxide levels
  4. Factors affecting Grape Characteristics
    • Fruit characteristics affecting wine
    • Fermentation preparation
    • Effects of yeasts in winemaking
    • Managing yeasts
    • Methods to determine alcohol content, chemical and microbial stability
    • Determine pH
    • Inoculum of yeast
  5. Wine Classification
    • Types of wines
    • Selecting wine grapes
    • Varieties
  6. Sensory Science & Evaluation
    • Wine sensory science
    • Determine consumer preference
    • Types of senses
    • Wine evaluation
    • Wine food interaction
  7. Production of White Wine and Sparkling Wines
    • Harvesting Grapes
    • Crushing the Grapes
    • Managing the Must
    • Sparkling Wines
    • The Champenois Method
  8. Production of Red Wines and Rosé Wines
    • Harvesting and Crushing for Reds
    • Fermentation
    • Extracting Colour
    • Thermovinification
    • Getting a Wood Flavour
  9. Production of Spirits
    • Introduction to Distillation
    • Clasification of Spirits
    • Spirit Groups
    • Liquers and Liquer Groups
    • Aperitifs
    • Sherry and Types of Sherry
    • Vermouth
    • Port and Types of Port
  10. Storage and Aging of Wines
    • Different Storage Methods
    • Maturation
    • Causes of Spoilage

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Discuss the scope of winemaking and the set of characteristics.
  • Recognise the scientific processes of fermentation and simple control factors.
  • Investigate the practical tasks and required equipment needed for making wine.
  • Explain how yeasts and other flavour affecting factors can be managed to impact the final wine product.
  • Comprehend the scope of different wine types arising from various grape varieties and learn how they are classified.
  • Explain wine sensory science and how consumers interact with wines.
  • Explain unique processes used to make white and sparkling wines.
  • Investigate unique processes used to make red and rosé wines.
  • Explain how to make fortified wines and spirits.
  • Understand the importance of correct storage and how it prevent spoilage and enhances maturity.

What You Will Do

  • Research legislation around commercial alcohol production in your area.
  • Learn about the most popular wines where you live from local or national winemaking and selling data.
  • Find out about new or old winemakers, wine tours or tourism activities associated with wineries in your region.
  • Learn about enzymes in action through watching videos online.
  • Undertake a simple fermentation experiment at home using sugar (glucose) and yeast.
  • Find out what options are available for hobbyists and wine enthusiasts to buy equipment - to measure pH, sugar levels etc.
  • Create a table of equipment needed in wine making, include a possible price range if you can and suppliers/stockists list.
  • Make a list of winemakers clubs in your region/country. Contact at least one of the winemakers clubs you listed and find out what is on offer for members, wine makers, or other exclusive communities. Find out about any costs associated with the club and exclusive members benefits.
  • Examine the characteristics of those locally grown grape varieties (also known as cultivars) and two cultivars from further afield. Compare and contrast the information on the cultivars from both regions.
  • Contact any number of wine grape growers’ associations (or similar) in your region. Find out exactly their purpose.
  • Choose one scientific method used in winemaking e.g. determining pH or volatile acidity, then watch videos of that test being carried out. Imagine you are making a video on for the same test, using the same apparatus. Write a brief script for your video.
  • Write a script for a 5-minute presentation on wine regions and classifications which are of particular interest to you.
  • Go to an alcohol or wine retail shop or supermarket and read description of wines from different categories, e.g., light, full bodied etc. Recognise frequently used terms which describe wines from different categories.
  • Enjoy tasting a wine and identifying the notes mentioned on the label (optional activity).
  • Carry out a blind taste testing activity with friends.
  • Write a list of 10 different meals and wines which would best suit them. You can taste and try them as you wish!
  • Research wine grapes for sparkling wines. You may contact specialist wine clubs, producers, and wineries, watch videos, or read appropriate viticulture material.
  • Create a wine map of the world. Colour/highlight and label a blank world map with the different wine making regions in relation to climatic conditions.
  • Create an illustrated guide for how oak barrels are made. You may use images from online sources and label each stage in the process. Produce an A4 page step by step guide – keep text concise.
  • Visit a winery specialising in red and/or rosé wines in your region (if possible). The purpose is to use your senses when undertaking the visit, what do you see, hear, smell etc. Make notes on the sensory aspect of the experience.
  • Watch videos of colour extraction and identify which method is being used, its effectiveness and the popularity of the method.
  • Choose two of the classification categories of spirits and research the range and varieties of each available. Makes notes on the country of production, alcohol volume, price, and any other comparative data you can collect.
  • Use social media to follow or connect with one brand/company of two chosen spirits and learn about the company including their history and current offerings.
  • Visit a distillery in your region if possible. Aim to enjoy a guided tasting session. This task is optional.
  • Design a storage area for wines - produce a drawing. Label as necessary.
  • Design a small-scale wine production warehouse showing the equipment you would include - produce a labelled drawing.
  • For each of these activities, it is expected students will conduct further research to enhance knowledge and understanding where necessary. In the event a task or activity cannot be completed, tutors can adjust the activity (within reasonable limits) to suit a student’s learning needs.

Passionate about wine?

Wine making is to many not only a trade, but also a science and an art; and of course also an important business. For some it can become a lifelong passion.

Good wine is not the same as just any wine

You learn what makes a difference in quality when you study this course.

Anyone can make wine; but there is a huge difference between a home brew and a top shelf commercial product. Good winemaking involves a great deal of technical knowledge followed by solid experience. This course lays the foundation for good wine making with a solid study of all the important technical fundamentals 

  • Learn to produce high quality wine.
  • Understand the technical requirements of making good wines.
  • Train staff in the wine making process to increase their knowledge of wines and how they are produced.
  • Suitable for amateur and professional wine makers.
  • Become an expert in wine making

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