Oenology is an art & science - the study of all aspects in the processes involved winemaking. This excludes grape growing and grape-harvesting - which are other specialty called viticulture. 'Viticulture & Oenology' is a common title for wine education programs that includes both the 'outdoor' and 'indoor' aspects of wine production. An expert in the field of oenology is known as an oenologist (i.e. winemaker). The term oenology stems from the Greek word: 'oinos', 'wine', and 'logos', 'word or speech'.
Traditionally: It was the men, women and families of vision, passion, resources and often of fortuitous heritage - it was these owners of vineyards and wineries, who performed all the seasonal tasks required through to bottling the wine.

 

It is an oversimplification to say that only viticulturists are experts in the growing of grapes and other tasks and events that occur in the vineyard. An oenologist is also an authority in turning healthy grapes into great wine. In fact, today it is still common for many oenologist's to wear both hats with confidence and success.
A degree in Oenology is becoming increasingly more important when pursuing a career in the wine world. With the advancement of organic, sulphur free and biodynamic winemaking - understanding the 'art & science of wine' is highly valued. Oenologists across the world are quickly acknowledging the benefits of better farming practices - benefiting the environment, the health of their vineyards, the flavour and resulting quality of their wines.
It is also possible to learn winemaking in the old fashioned way - by being an apprentice to an experienced winemaker. Many oenologists with degrees also take an apprentice position so that they can learn specific (hands-on) winemaking techniques and to preserve traditional heritage. One can also decide to train with several different vineyards (in the same or in different countries) to study varied winemaking techniques.
Because wineries usually have several vintages maturing at the same time, the oenologist must be capable of monitoring numerous wines and years simultaneously, and of identifying changes over time, being able to understand a wines stage in maturation - plus be area of packaging, how a wine will travel and other related issues.