What is an oenologist? Interview with Diala Younes, President of the Œnologues de Bordeaux

31/03/2021 | Uncategorised

What is an oenologist?

For this first interview, you will find Diala Younes, president of the association of Oenologists of Bordeaux.

She will tell us about her journey from Lebanon to Bordeaux, the role of this association. Then, we will finish with a personal section!

Good listening :-)!

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🎥 Team Youtube Association of Oenologists of Bordeaux 🎵 Team Podcast Interview with Diala Younes

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Presentation by Diala, President of the Association of Oenologists of Bordeaux

Hello Diala, welcome to the channel "Au micro de Bacchus", thank you for accepting this first interview mission. This is Diala president of the association of oenologists of Bordeaux. I'll let you introduce yourself to start this sequence.

Perfect, thank you very much Pauline. Well here in fact, as Pauline introduced me, my name is Diala and I am Lebanese of French origin by adoption also in fact I am an agro engineer I did my training in Lebanon I worked in wine and after I arrived in France to do my oenology degree. After I worked in France this job which is great especially in Bordeaux and here after twenty years of experience I get back on the benches of studies again to do my training in master management of wine companies, that's it.

Very good studies and you have been an oenologist for a long time so?

So I am an oenologist from Bordeaux in 2008 here I do my training in 2008 and I am president of the association of oenologists of Bordeaux since December 2017.

Role of the Association of Oenologists of Bordeaux

Very well, so on this subject, can you explain to us what is the role of this association of oenologists of Bordeaux?

With pleasure, then the association of oenologists of Bordeaux is an association that was founded in 1966 so we celebrated the 50th anniversary in 2016. This association was founded in fact by the alumni oenologist students who were graduated by the faculty of Bordeaux before and since 2009 by the ISVV the institute of the science of the vine and wine in Bordeaux.

Les Actions

This association brings together as I said in fact all the oenologist students and as missions and objectives this association actually brings together the alumni among themselves to promote the network, develop the network, to animate in fact several missions including a technical mission around

  • the morning of oenologists which brings together about 400 professionals,
  • technical thematic tastings during the year
  • so we all gather around our common passion for tasting wines from all over the world.
  • Other events too, all in the interest of communicating on our know-how, on our skills, on this love of wine and here we are here to promote a little this atmosphere and were all in a good mood here.

And also a certain form of help also between oenologists who are perhaps a little isolated sometimes and it allows to regroup?


Exactly, we have a lot of missions after, we also take care of we already work within the association by commission so we have several commissions:

    • a technical commission to organize the morning of oenologists and a tasting commission to organize tastings, an employment commission to also take care of grouping all the job offers of the market and disseminate them to our members,
    • a commission for associative life that also deals with associative events to promote links and also find itself in festive events such as the anniversary of the sonatas of the promotions that we made in 2018, 2019 unfortunately not and in 2020.
    • We also have a student life commission that takes care of really taking care of our students being next to them the advisors through a mentora through several actions that aim to actually prepare them to find themselves in professional and active life.

So we are not idle, there are many things to do we are all volunteers. And so, I invite all our oenologists to come and lend us a hand, including you Pauline.

And so, where was your baptism of promotion?

Ah, Château lynch bages in 2008, I am promotion lynch bages. How about you?

Me, it was at the town hall of Bordeaux in promotion 2006.

Mapping of the profession of Oenologist

Men / Women

So we will take advantage of the fact that you are president of the association of oenologists of Bordeaux to make a small mapping of this profession of oenologists. First of all how it goes, is the profession of oenologist still as masculine as before or are there many women?

So the profession of oenologist, it has changed a lot in all cases we see it in working life, oenologist woman or man are now quite present. So certainly, this job was much more masculine before but we realize as and when the woman takes her place. She is absolutely, she is completely competent to also occupy the proof of positions within oenology. There are more and more and this is also noticeable through the promotions of oenologists today who return to the ISVV. Before for example, I don't know in your time, but I was 45% women today they are 60%. As a result, we see more and more women.

Oh, yes! While I was 70 if we were only 10 girls in the promotion.

Indeed, things have changed. It evolves a lot within training and in working life as well. Today the woman she is in the cellar, she is in the research and development laboratory, in teaching. That's it, it's everywhere and in any case I'm not for a certain … to be a feminist to be a feminist but in any case I tell myself a competent person she must find the position that suits her, whether she is male or female. Today, women have everything to have the position of great responsibility.


Absolutely, and we see some. Once you are an oenologist, what can you do as a profession in the end? We are oenologists, we have this title, this diploma but what are the different facets, what are the different possibilities available to us?

Above all the profession of oenologist is a profession already at the base, it is the profession of the magician of wine here. And it is actually a guarantor to produce a wine that is already loyal and walking before talking about other qualities. So, we are the guarantor, we are the chemist, everything must go as it should to give to preserve a finished wine that is very suitable and of high quality. After this profession of oenologist is quite exciting because we can exercise…

It has several components, we can be in the production, occupy a position of cellar master, in the technique in fact, technical direction, we can also work today we have a great look to bring to the vine because everything happens in the vineyard before the grapes arrive at the cellar. We can also, the profession of oenologist it can also happen in research and development, in the technical-commercial, in the laboratory for everything that is wine analysis. What do I forget? I forget a lot of things in journalism, in the "being" wine blogger, here is experienced taster in competitions, being in the institutions also of the sector here in fact there are many professions that come to us as oenologist.

There is also wine tourism.

Certainly I must have forgotten a lot of them.

And so to you finally you have already made many facets of the job of not to them what you have already done of the production, the commercial technico by selling barrels, she had not said it until now.

Yes and traffic jams.

The diploma of Oenologist

And now even the associative life but hey that everyone can go, it's something else. So, today with this profession of oenologist, can we be oenologists anywhere in the world? Or is it a diploma that is exclusively French?

Being an oenologist is an international passport and I can tell you that being an oenologist also with the French diploma also offers you extraordinary opportunities abroad. After the profession of oenologist, the diploma as we know it in France and it is a national diploma that was issued by the law of March 1955, and there was a reform in 2007. But certainly there are professions that train in oenology in international countries and it can actually be wine technicians who specialize in oenology and it can be masters also specialized in oenology but really the national diploma as we understand it here is specific to the France. There are five schools that deliver it today.

And what are these five schools?

So we have Bordeaux, we have Toulouse, we have Montpellier, Burgundy, Champagne.

Foreign oenologists

So, we were talking about the international. Are there many foreign oenologists today? What is half half?

So today to give an exact figure I am talking first about Bordeaux, I will talk about Bordeaux to give an exact figure if I speak before COVID, I believe that the share of foreigners was around between, it varies every year besides, it can be between 20 and 35% of foreigners but certainly during the period of COVID it has been much more delicate and today Today there is a drastic reduction in the share of foreign students who come apart from the neighbouring countries of Italy, Spain and Portugal. But here is still a small part today with the situation.

Personal section

We will now move on to the personal section. So Diala if you were a wine you would be what wine?

If I were a wine, I would know a Château Rayas 2001 Appellation Châteauneuf du Pape, it was a favorite in fact because it is a wine when I tasted it, it transported me with notes of orange blossom? I saw myself in my grandfather's orchard.

Aaah very well… If you were a book what book would you diala be?

If I were a book, I would be the book The Prophet by Khahlil Gibran, who is a Lebanese writer. And in fact this book is a book of life, it's really full of philosophy and suddenly it has also been translated to a multitude of foreign languages.

Okay it's a big book we can read easily or not?

Yes good after there are the extracts too.

And so now if you were a movie what movie would you be?

A film in fact is rather my love for New York and all the films that go with it and my favorite film would be then the title in English is When Harry meet Sally, that is to say When Harry meets Sally.

Thanks for the translation.

Here with Meg Rayan that I love that's my taste.

Fine thank you.

Well thank you Diala for all this time spent together and then thank you again because you are our first and then it will be a long series of "Au micro de Bacchus". I hope you liked it and that you understood the profession of oenologist a little better thanks to Diala.

Thank you very much Pauline thank you to all of you.

See you soon!

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