Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are the building blocks of future nanoelectronic devices. Furthermore, their large refractive index and reduced dimension make them suitable for nanophotonics. The study of the interaction between nanowires and visible light reveals resonances that promise light absorption/scattering engineering for photonic applications. Micro-Raman spectroscopy has been used as a characterization tool for semiconductor nanowires. The light/nanowire interaction can be experimentally assessed through the micro-Raman spectra of individual nanowires. As compared to both metallic and dielectric nanowires, semiconductor nanowires add additional tools for photon engineering. In particular, one can grow heterostructured nanowires, both axial and radial, and also one could modulate the doping level and the surface condition among other factors than can affect the light/NW interaction. We present herein a study of the optical response of group IV semiconductor nanowires to visible photons. The study is experimentally carried out through micro-Raman spectroscopy of different group IV nanowires, both homogeneous and axially heterostructured (SiGe/Si). The results are analyzed in terms of the electromagnetic modelling of the light/nanowire interaction using finite element methods. The presence of axial heterostructures is shown to produce electromagnetic resonances promising new photon engineering capabilities of semiconductor nanowires.