WINE MAKING (Oenology)

Study wine and wine science - online oenology course for small scale vineyards, start ups or to familiarise with the wine industry and the science that underpins wine making.

Course Code: BHT258
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn about Wine and Wine Science

Oenology is the study of wine and wine science. It is only concerned with the alcoholic product that is produced from harvested grapes. The production of fruit is only of concern in so much as how it affects the alcoholic beverage it is turned into.

Who might benefit from this course?

  • Amateurs and professionals
  • Anyone working or aspiring to work in the wine industry
  • Professional development for horticulturists, hospitality and tourism workers, writers, wine wholesalers and retailers
  • Amateur wine makers and others

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Wine Making
  2. The Science of Fermentation
  3. The Process of Winemaking
  4. Factors affecting Grape Characteristics
  5. Classifying Wines
  6. Sensory Science and Evaluation
  7. Producing White and Sparkling Wines
  8. Producing Red and Rosé Wines
  9. Producing of Spirits
  10. Storing and Aging of Wines


  • 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.
  • Explain correct storage and how it prevent spoilage and enhances maturity.

How is Wine Made?

The basic processes of most winemaking can be briefly summarised as follows:

  • Removal of unessential material such as stems and leaves
  • Grape crushing
  • Fermentation
  • Storage and Aging, or bottling 

The basic difference between red and white wines is that in the production of white wines the grape skins are removed prior to fermentation whereas in the production of red wines the skins are fermented along with the juice. Of course, whilst not nearly as popular, you can make wine from other fruits like elderberries or rosehips, and you can make it using other things like rice. Grapes are ideal for winemaking because they are the only fruits which contain tannins, esters and acids which enable makers to produce stable and consistent wines.

What Affects the Final Product?

At every stage of the wine making process, there are decisions to be made and a multitude of different things which may or may not be done, each having a different impact upon the final product.

The process of converting grapes into wine can be exceedingly complicated, and the finished product (the wine) can vary significantly in taste, aroma, and visual appearance.

  • Aroma refers to what is perceived by smelling the wine
  • Taste refers to what is sensed by tasting the wine.
  • Visual appearance considers clarity and colour of the liquid.

As the process of making wine progresses, the liquid goes through various changes in it’s chemical and microbiological characteristics, which need to be monitored. Interventions are made along the way to control what is happening, and ultimately the wine which is produced should be relatively stable so that it can be stored until it is drunk, without deterioration in the overall quality.



If you want to produce the best wine you ultimately need to always be conscious of all of those things that can impact one quality; and all the possible ways of influencing those many considerations. While referring to a book can be useful, awareness needs to be heightened well beyond just reading something and tucking it away in your sub conscious. You need to learn wine making in a way that puts the knowledge at the front of your consciousness - knowing and doing the right things at the right time needs to become second nature - you see it, you evaluate, and you respond in a way most appropriate - all at once. This course will move you in that direction; and with experience built on these studies, you will potentially get better all the tme.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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