OENOLOGY 7560WT - Experience & Perspectives in the Wine Industry

Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The Master of Viticulture and Oenology program provides students with opportunities to gain experience working in viticulture and/or winemaking placements. Students undertake 10 weeks? work experience, either in an approved viticultural enterprise, and/or in a commercial winery. The placement is normally a continuous 10-week block, taken during the vintage period of the particular region. Viticultural placements, however, may take place throughout the year, and can be composed of a series of discontinuous periods (totalling 10 weeks), enabling students to experience different vineyard practices throughout the year and gain a hands-on working understanding of the management systems and structures. Alternatively students may elect to undertake experience in commercial winery during the vintage period. At the completion of the placement, a specified level of proficiency and an understanding of the contribution of each of the major unit operations to the overall winemaking process are required. In addition students will receive lectures and workshops designed to allow the examination the current policies and issues confronting the Australian wine industry. This will provide insight into how critical Australian wine industry organisations address topics of societal importance, including marketing, wine advertising, brand development and alcohol and health in the international context.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code OENOLOGY 7560WT
    Course Experience & Perspectives in the Wine Industry
    Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 12
    Contact 10 weeks full time placement (off campus) plus up to 5 hours per week for 7 weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites OENOLOGY 7047WT
    Incompatible OENOLOGY 7550WT
    Assumed Knowledge OENOLOGY 7520WT
    Restrictions Available to Master of Viticulture and Oenology students only
    Assessment Assignments, presentations, online reflective journal
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Christopher Ford

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Classes commence in week 7 when students return to campus upon the completion of their industry placement.

    There will be lectures and workshops from 9 am to 5 pm on one day each week to week 12 or 13 as required.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    Demonstrate competency in the key practical aspects of viticultural work
    in a commercial setting.


    Demonstrate competency in the work undertaken by a cellar staff in a
    commercial winery during the period of vintage.

    Explain the principles behind either
    the practices that underpin a commercial viticultural operation. Students are
    required to reflect on practices undertaken in the vineyard.  This can include a first hand understanding of soil
    management, irrigation, pests and diseases, canopy management, pruning, and
    vine monitoring and further describe limitations and suggest improvements. Furthermore,
    the student should be able to evaluate the management strategy used by a
    viticultural enterprise.


    Explain the principles behind the
    practices that underpin practical winemaking during the period of vintage in a
    commercial winery. This can include a first hand
    understanding of grape harvest and vine monitoring, grape receival and
    weighbridge operations; grape and juice processing; fermentation and post
    fermentation operations, cellar management and quality control procedures and
    further describe limitations and suggest improvements. Furthermore, the student
    should be able to evaluate the processes by which a series of operations from
    grape harvest decisions to post-fermentation management of a selected wine are
    made by a commercial winery.

    Explain the aims and objectives of the
    major grape and wine industry organisations.

    Explain some of the issues that are
    currently before the industry. These may include topics such as alcohol abuse
    and its implications for health and society, the global positioning of
    Australian wine, the role and importance of the Australian Wine Show system,
    and emerging practices in grape growing and winemaking.

    Develop high order report writing and
    presentations skills, including reflective analysis of placement experience in
    the context of industry issues.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Multiple modes of learning and teaching will be utilised. Student will undertake a 10-week professional placement in their chosen discipline of viticulture or oenology, with the option after consultation with the course coordinator(s) of a blended option between these disciplines. Students are expected to undertake self analysis and reflection of their performance through a bi-weekly online journal. Supporting this placement experience is a lecture and workshop series that establishes the Australian wine industry in an international context, explaining the aims and objectives of the major grape and wine industry organisations and key issues confronting the industries’ potential growth and development. The goal is for the students to achieve an in-depth but practical ‘real-world’ understanding of the wine related industries and further develops professional skills and industry networks to enhance future career opportunities.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 12-unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 48 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).


    Due to the non-standard nature of the activities associated with this course, the normal academic workload modelling used is inappropriate. During the ‘industry experience’ component of the course, students will typically be in full-time employment within a winery over the vintage period, or within a vineyard or similar operation at various times of the year. The total number of hours worked in this time will vary depending upon the year and the nature of the placement. Typically however, at least 400 hours of employment will be undertaken. Moreover, in many cases, this will take place to an extent outside of the formal semester timetabling.


    The weekly workload during the formal semester periods may be summarised thus:

    (i) Assuming six weeks of semester 1 working vintage (or equivalent), then one hour per week of weekly online reflective journal; additionally, ca two of the three two-hour sessions on Industry Placement Analysis and Industry Placement Case Study will occur over this period.

    (ii) Weeks 7 to 12 of semester at UA, then ca 3 hours per week Industry Perspectives lectures, 2.5 hours per week of Industry Perspectives workshops, plus non-contact study comprising two hours per week each of Industry Perspectives Seminar and Final Report preparation, completion of the Industry Placement Analysis and Industry Placement case Study assessments (ca 2 hours each in total) and preparation of the Industry Perspectives Literature review (3 hours). By revising therefore the ‘weeks’ value in the table below to 7 (cf 13), a weekly workload of 12.4 Hours is achieved.


    The overall course workload, 400 hours ‘work experience’ plus 86 hours at Uni, spread over the 13 notional weeks of the course, is ca 37.5 hours per week. 
    Learning Activities Summary

    Lecture topics include:

    Overview of research directions in the Australian wine industry

    Industry organisations and their roles:

    SA Wine Industry Association, Winemakers Federation of Australia, Wine Grapegrowers of Australia, Wine Industry National Environment Committee.   

    Industry specific issues:

    Environmental Protection Authority (SA).

    Australian Grape & Wine Authority (trade and other issues, international marketing of Australian Wine)             

    Wine marketing and Making an international brand, The changing face of world wine (emerging new varieties and styles).

    Wine show system from a judge’s perspective.

    Alcohol dependence, Wine and health, Alcohol policy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Centre for Automotive Safety Research.

    Workshop topics include:

    Human resource management ─ conflict resolution

    Specific Course Requirements
    All students must complete a 10-week industry placement at a viticultural and/or winery enterprise. This placement must be discussed with and approved by the Course Coordinator(s) prior to commencement. Lecture and workshops are presented in the second half of semester 1, after the mid-semester break and therefore classes are only scheduled in weeks 6-12 of semester 1. Students are therefore required to complete their 10-weeks placement prior to the return from mid-semester break.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment task  Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment Approximate timing of assessment Learning Outcome
    Industry Placement Pre- Employment Report Formative & Summative 10 Mid-February 3, 6
    Industry Placement Weekly Online Reflective Journal Formative & Summative 10 Weekly during placement 1 or 2, 3
    Industry Placement Analysis Formative & Summative 25 Week 8 of Semester 1 or 2, 3, 6
    Industry Placement Seminar Formative & Summative 10 Week 9 of Semester 1 or 2, 3, 6
    GWIPPC Wine Commentary Review Formative & Summative 15* Week 10 of Semester 4, 6
    GWIPPC Literature Review Formative & Summative 15* Week 12 of Semester 4, 5, 6
    GWIPPC Video Presentation Formative & Summative 30* Week 13 of Semester 4, 5, 6
    GWIPPC Final Assignment Summative 40* Mid-June 4, 5
    *GWIPPC marks are scaled to a final 45% of the overall course mark.
    Assessment Detail

    Industry Placement Pre-Employment Report (10%)

    This report is submitted via MyUni.  It is highly recommended that you begin this assignment as early as possible – much of the information you need will be publicly available, and once the vintage starts both you and your employer will be too busy to spend the time needed to complete the assignment. As indicated by its title, ‘…pre-placement summary’ the idea of the assignment is for you to become familiar with the region and the company with whom you will be doing vintage.

    You are required to complete all of the sections and sub-sections of the form, which will comprise the following questions related to your employment:

    A detailed regional summary, including:

    (i) A history of grape growing and winemaking in the region
    (ii) A summary of current grape or wine industry in the region

    Information about the viticultural or winemaking company you are working for, including:

    (iii) General company information
    (iv) Business structure and management
    (v) Corporate strategic plan

    The assessment breakdown is described in the table below:

    Structured component Marks available
    1.1 General (history & region – parts (i) and (ii) above) 15

    1.2 Business structure and management – part (iv) above 5
    1.2.1 Proprietorship – part (iii) above 5
    1.2.2 Corporate strategic plan – part (v) above 5
    TOTAL 30

    A full Assessment Rubric will be presented with the Assignment.


    Industry Placement Weekly Online Reflective Journal (10%)

    You are required to submit a Weekly Reflective Journal. The journal will be completed by all students and will consist of the following details, entered as a weekly record, or diary, of all winemaking activities during the Industry Placement program. The journal needs to be completed weekly and submitted online via MyUni. There is a separate Assignment for each week’s journal entry – please complete yours in sequence from the first week of your placement.

    The Weekly Reflective Journal of winemaking or viticultural activities should include observations and comments about the operations in which you are involved. This record of activities can be written in point form but should describe important winemaking or viticultural processes in detail and in the correct order of their execution.

    Where you are involved in activities such as fining trials and subsequent additions made to wines, you should include the quantities of reagents used and calculations to justify addition rates. If a particular process is repeated during the vintage it can be recorded in detail on the first occasion using a date or process code and simply be referred to on subsequent occasions with any variations noted. However, when a deliberate variation to a unit process or operation is made, it is important that this variation is described in detail and justified.

    It is important that the logic behind and the rationale for the winemaking/viticultural techniques and processes be explained; for example, how is exposure to oxygen minimised in the transfer of white wine, how are decisions made concerning irrigation scheduling?

    Reflection on your activities over each week of your placement is an important part of the assessment. You should attempt to provide the appropriate level of context, rationale and where possible, your interpretations of the activities you’ve been engaged with over the week.

    Reflective Journals that reflect a scant overview of the vintage, compiled at the end of the 10 weeks are NOT ACCEPTABLE and may result in a Fail grade being recorded.

    Marks will be awarded for the weekly reflective journal on the basis of timely submission of entries (ie, weekly) and the completeness of the record of your activities. Exemplars of both winemaking (vintage) and viticulture/vineyard Reflective Journals will be provided in MyUni.

    The assessment breakdown is described in the table below:

    Reflective Journal Marks available:

    Timely submission (weekly) 10
    Clear descriptions of vineyard/winery operations 15
    Detailed reflection of the weekly activities 15

    TOTAL 40

    A full Assessment Rubric will be presented with the Assignment.

    Industry Placement Summary Analysis (25%) (for Winemaking Placements only)

    This item is a structured electronic Employment Summary Form.

    Electronic structured subsection form that requires the student to research and complete and will comprise of the following sections that relate to the student’s employment:

    • Wine production and cellar management
    • Personal experiences, reflection and conclusions

    The structured Employment Summary component requires you to perform an in-depth analysis of the company’s production techniques, cellar, quality and waste management, wine production strategies and thoughts and reflections made as the vintage progressed, including some ideas as to whether difficulties were experienced or not. This information should be recorded in the relevant section in the form.

    Marking breakdown is described in the table below:

    Structured Component Marks Available:

    1. Wine production: 35
    1.1 Grape receival, composition & quality 5
    1.2 Grape & juice processing 5
    1.3 Fermentation techniques 5
    1.3.1 Table wines 5
    1.3.2 Sparkling & fortified wines 5
    1.4 Post fermentation operations 5
    1.5 Cellar & waste management 5
    1.6 Quality management 5
    2. Personal experience, reflections & conclusions 15

    TOTAL 50

    A full Assessment Rubric will be presented with the Assignment.


    Vineyard Benchmarking Report (for vineyard focussed experience only)

    Benchmarking is a method of measuring performance, and in viticulture is the way we expect you to collect specific information about your ‘Main Component’ vineyard and other vineyards in your region. The emphasis of your report is to compare and contrast features of the vineyard/s you are working in and those in the region. A list of useful sources of information is provided at the end of this section, however you are expected to make particular use of vineyard personnel in the region, especially when gathering information about vineyard practices. Collection of information can also be done using your own observations of local vineyards.

    To critically analyse the “main component” vineyard with reference to typical practices within the region, past years, district averages and expected performance

    This report will be a confidential document that will only be viewed by employees of the Department of Wine Science for the purposes of student assessment.

    The report should be no more than 1,500 words, excluding tables, figures and references. The following headings and content should be strictly adhered to:

    (This section should be concise and not comprise more than about one third of the total report)

    Location of the “main component” vineyard(s):

    Grape growing region (GI) and state
    Map showing proximity to townships, wineries etc, and showing physical features

    Key characteristics of the region:

    Predominant varieties
    Grape utilisation - typical yields, prices, end-products and quality parameters
    Average vineyard size and ownership

    Comparison of “main component” vineyard with typical vineyard of the region:

    Total area occupied, total area planted, total area bearing or non-bearing, grape varieties, age and area, own roots or rootstocks


    Report on A) and one other (B, C, or D) vineyard operation in your vineyard and compare it to those in other vineyards in the same region.

    A) Irrigation:

    • Sources of supply and/or storage for the region and the vineyard Water quality and availability
    • Seasonal usage

    B) Pruning Methods, levels

    C) Soil management Typical practices, timing

    D) Canopy management:
    • Trellis & canopy types
    • Major pests & diseases, management philosophies and practices


    Report on either A or B and compare with other vineyards in the same region.

    A) Use and efficiency of vineyard labour (for the predominant variety in your vineyard):

    • Person hours per operation, per hectare, per tonne of fruit*
    • Estimate of total input, including effective total person hours per month*
    • Critical analysis of labour input

    B) Yield and fruit quality (for the predominant variety in your vineyard):

    • Per variety/block/ vineyard*
    • Pre-harvest estimates and actual harvest data, how does this compare with pre- harvest estimates*
    • Harvested fruit composition relationship to vineyard objectives and end-use requirements*

    * The use of historical data is acceptable for these sections in the case when the current harvest is not yet complete.

    The feedback assessment sheet for the Benchmarking report is shown below.

    Feedback for student

    Name of Student: …………………….……………………………………………………

    Introduction: Did it attract attention; suggest purpose, supply background Information; make brief and logical transition into main body of report

    Section 1: Characteristics of Viticultural Region; Location of the “main component” vineyard(s), Key characteristics of the region, Comparison of “main component” vineyard with typical vineyard of the region

    Section 2: Current Vineyard Practices; Compare to other vineyards in the same region

    Section 3: Physical Performance and Productivity; Comparison to other vineyards in the same region

    References: Source of information for report, correct referencing style within text

    Presentation: Spelling and grammar, clear and precise, development and order of information presented, visual presentation, confidence, manner when speaking


    The report must be typed, using a size 12 font, with 3cm margins. Up to 25% of the total marks will be deducted for the report being over length or for not adhering to the required layout. Marks will also be deducted for grammatical or punctuation errors, clumsy or ambiguous written expression, and spelling or typographical mistakes.

    Suggested Sources of Information:

    1. Local councils (including town planning section).
    2. SA Utilisation and Pricing Survey (SA Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board).
    3. DNRE Grape benchmarking report No. 2 (Agriculture Victoria, contact Megan Hill, ISIA Ferguson Road Tatura VIC 3616) or the Waite library (Open Reserve).
    4. Seasons of Change - A Guide to Successful Vineyard Investment in a Changing World - published by PIRSA (1999) and available from Lenswood Research Centre (8389 8800) or the Waite library (Open Reserve).
    5. Annual ABS vineyard statistics
    6. ABARE Projections of Wine Grape production and Winery Intake (Annual)
    7. National Winegrape Outlook Conference - Summary Paper (Annual)
    8. Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal Regional Reports
    9. Grapegrower and Grape Grower and Winemaker magazines
    10. Books eg Barossa Vintage Classification (Winetitles)
    11. www eg winetitles.com.au
    12. Local/anecdotal information
    13. Rolley (2002) Wine grape quality measurement and benchmarking group. GWRDC RITA Project no. RT 01/27-3.
    14. Vast et al. (1994) The benchmarking process and best practice. Proceedings of ASVO Viticulture seminar, Mildura, Victoria.

    Try to source as much information as possible from citeable references and include a reference list at the end of the report.

    Industry Placement Seminar (10%)

    You are required to present an oral summary of your Industry Placement. You will be asked to describe your experience and answer questions during the session. Presentations will take place between weeks 10 and 12 of the semester. This will form the basis of the assessment, in particular the content and your response to questions.

    The presentation MUST INCLUDE the following details:

    • Company profile
    • Styles of wine produced
    • Vineyard or Winery Production features (including waste management)
    • Experience summary, including your specific role
    • Figures and photographs

    Marking breakdown:

    1. Presentation style 20%
    2. Presentation content 65%
    3. Questions 15%

    You are required to give the Confidential Employer’s Report form to your employer. The form must be returned to the Course Coordinator by the due date. The completed form will be used as part of the final assessment.
    If this form is not returned by the above date a mark of zero will be given.
    The Oral Presentation is worth a maximum of 7.5% of the final marks for the course. Your confidential employer's report is worth a maximum of 2.5% of the final marks for the course. Your marks for the two components will be combined and you will be awarded a cumulative mark of up to 10% of the final course marks - this will preserve the anonymity of the Confidential Employer's Assessment.

    GWIPPC Wine Review Commentary (15%)*

    You will be required to submit a commentary in which you discuss two or three recent Australian wine reviews from traditional (ie print media) and modern (online, blogs, vlogs etc. not wine company websites or retailers) sources. The work should include a reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the different forms of review including the media format, the criteria by which credibility of the review and the reviewer may be assessed, and the target audiences. A word limit of 1,500 including references, will be applied. Individual feedback will be provided to each student via MyUni.

    GWIPPC Literature Review (15%)*

    Literature Review. You will be required to choose a topic from a list provided by the Course Coordinator. For many of the topics, several references will be available from the AWRI Librarian. These should form the basis of the material used to build the review, but in all cases, it will be necessary to search for additional and more recent references also. A literature review will by its nature rely extensively on material published in peer-reviewed journals and also in more widely published media including industry publications, blogs, policy documents and suchlike. As a rough guide, it is expected that between 10 and 15 sources will be used. All sources must be cited correctly in the text and assembled into a Reference List, which is to be compiled according to the Harvard system. The literature review should not exceed 1,500 words, including references but not the Reference List. Individual feedback will be provided to each student via MyUni.

    GWIPPC Video Presentation (30%)*

    You will work in groups of three to prepare a short (maximum 10 minute) video or poster and oral presentation that describes and explains a recent research-driven development in grape or wine production. The presentations must attempt to communicate the nature and impact of the topic in a manner that is aimed at informing the broader audience of educated wine consumers. Please note videos comprising solely a presenter speaking to the camera with no location or action, other images, interviews are not permitted. Similarly, the use of more than 30 seconds of YouTube or other proprietary footage is not permitted. Alternatively, you may produce a poster in PowerPoint, print it in large format and share the delivery with your partners of a 10-minute oral presentation referring to the poster. Both will be delivered face-to-face to the entire class and there will be 3 minutes for questions.

    Feedback will be provided to each group via MyUni.

    GWIPPC Final Assessment (40%)*

    An online written test, covering the topics presented by guest lecturers, will be completed. Students will select three questions from a list of eight provided, and will have a total of two hours for this open-book assessment, which will be held online at the Waite Campus or undertaken remotely if required during the Semester 1 period (date and time in June to be confirmed).

    **GWIPPC marks are scaled to a final 45% of the overall course mark.


    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.