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.
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 winemakers being four times mayor of the city under the reign of Edward II. The Worshipful Company of Vintners is one of the oldest livery companies in London.
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. The term, French for someone who grows grapes or makes wine, is often used in Australia to describe a winemaker who is also involved as an owner or manager 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.
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 he buys already fermented wine in barrels or en-vrac--basically in bulk containers, he 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.
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. Well-known négociants in Burgundy are Maison Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, and Vincent Girardin; in Beaujolais, Georges Duboeuf; in Province, Mirabeau; and in the Rhône region, Guigal, Jaboulet, Jean-Luc Colombo, Chapoutier, and Famille Perrin.