"Vintner" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Vinter (disambiguation).
For the PBS television series, see The Winemakers.
For the surname, see Vinther.

A winemaker or vintner is a person engaged in winemaking. They are generally employed by wineries or wine companies, where their work includes:

Today, these duties require an increasing amount of scientific knowledge, since laboratory tests are gradually supplementing or replacing traditional methods. Winemakers can also be referred to as oenologists as they study oenology – the science of wine.


Wine grapes.

A vintner is a wine merchant. In some modern use, particularly in American English, the term is also used as a synonym for winemaker.[2]

The term started to be used in Middle English, when it superseded the earlier term vinter.[2]

Due to the close political and commercial ties between Bordeaux and England during the 14th and early 15th centuries, vintners were among the more important people in London with four mayors of London being vintners under the reign of Edward II.[2]


A vigneron is someone who cultivates a vineyard for winemaking. The word connotes or emphasizes the critical role that vineyard placement and maintenance has in the production of high-quality wine.[3] The term, French for someone who grows grapes or makes wine,[4] is often used in Australia to describe a winemaker who is also involved as an owner or manager[5][6][7] as opposed to a person who is employed only to make wine, who is generally referred to as a winemaker. It is also used when referring to a winemaker from France.[8][9]

Vincent of Saragossa is the patron saint of vignerons.


A négociant is the French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.[10]

Négociants buy everything from grapes to grape must to wines in various states of completion. In the case of grapes or must, the négociant performs virtually all the winemaking. If it buys already fermented wine in barrels or 'en-vrac'—basically in bulk containers, it may age the wine further, blend in other wines or simply bottle and sell it as is. The result is sold under the name of the négociant, not the name of the original grape or wine producer.

Currently, one of the largest Negociants in the United States and, more specifically California, is Gary Agajanian and Agajanian Vineyards.

Some négociants have a recognizable house style.

Négociants, who are also called Wine Merchants/Traders, were the dominant force in the wine trade until the last 25 years for various reasons:

Many négociants are also vineyard owners in their own right. In Burgundy for instance, négociants as Bouchard Père et Fils and Faiveley are among the largest owners of vineyards.[10] Well-known examples in Burgundy are Maison Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin and Vincent Girardin, in Beaujolais Georges Duboeuf and Guigal, Jean-Luc Colombo, Mirabeau in Provence, and Jaboulet in the Rhône.

See also


  1. Echikson, Tom. Noble Rot. NY: Norton, 2004
  2. 1 2 3 Jancis Robinson, ed. (2006). "Vintner". Oxford Companion to Wine (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 754. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
  3. The Vigneron's Savoir-Faire: The Result of Commitment from the website of the Association les VINS de Bandol
  4. Vignerons Licence from a Government of Victoria website
  5. GrapeGrowers & Vignerons magazine
  6. King Valley from Mietta's Guide to Australian Restaurant, Cafes & Bars
  7. Vigneron discusses what makes great wine from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  8. Brits who love a vigneron's life from the Financial Times
  9. 1 2 Oxford Companion to Wine. "Negociant".
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