Embark on a qualification in viticulture at Central and get paid for doing what you love. Central Otago is famous worldwide for its Pinot Noir wines and we are right in the heart of it.

Study viticulture at Central and learn about cool climate viticulture. As a full time student you will gain valuable skills and experience within Central Otago’s thriving viticulture industry. As a distance student you will gain the required skills and experience in your workplace, wherever that may be.This region attracts some of the most adventurous winemakers and in the world’s southernmost vineyards they are growing grapes on the edge.

We offer flexible study – you can study here with us or by distance if you are already working in the industry. If you have industry experience ask us about Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) as a route to gaining credits towards your qualification or CAPABLENZ pathway for a whole qualification accreditation.

Whether you are looking for a qualification that will expand your skills in quality management and sustainable grape growing, or that will open doors within the industry, Central is the place to study.

Diploma in Viticulture (Level 5)

  • Central Otago*
  • 1 year full-time*
  • Level 5
  • Starts February, May and July
  • Apply until start date

Focus on the technical and supervisory skills required in the viticulture industry. This Diploma is ideal if you wish to extend your practical ability and develop management skills while in employment.

Introduction to Viticulture short course

  • Central Otago
  • 5 days
  • Starts 18-22 September 2017
  • Apply anytime

Among other topics, you will undertake look at a brief history of viticulture with particular emphasis on grape growing for wine. You will also examine grape growing world-wide, with a more detailed study of the industry in New Zealand.

Grapevine pruning short course

  • Central Otago
  • 5 days, 9.00am-3.00pm
  • Starts 19 June 2017
  • Apply anytime

Learn all you need to know about the commercial pruning of grapevines for wine production.

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Quick Links

For more information about growing wine in our region check out the Central Otago Winegrowers Association website.

“I love engaging with students around the country, to help them get ahead in the wine industry.”

Viticulture lecturer

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Pip Feyen

A holiday job at an orchard in Central Otago helped Pip Feyen make the decision to change careers. 

Pip, had been studying primary teaching, but it wasn’t until she started studying the National Certificate in Horticulture Level 4 Pip really found her calling.  “The outdoors had always been a passion of mine and being able to combine that with the opportunity to study in a location like Central Otago was perfect”. 

Seeing there were plenty of opportunities locally in the industry was also a key factor in continuing her studies. “Not only could I see some great employment opportunities for the future but the work experience options while studying were second to none” said Pip.

Pip worked while completing her Otago Polytechnic Diploma in Horticulture Level 6 and is now working as Vineyard Manager at Maude Wines, Lowburn.

Pip has no hesitations about employing graduates from Central campus and often recommends further study to the vineyard workers. “Whether your passion is horticulture or viticulture there are plenty of jobs right here in Central Otago - the opportunities are endless”.

Growing together

If you want to choose qualifications that translate into careers, Central graduates Murray and Rachel Petrie make a resounding recommendation – study horticulture and viticulture!

The couple now live at McArthur Ridge Vineyard, where Murray is the vineyard manager. Rachel says they both found “there are plenty of jobs out there for hands-on, practically-educated staff.”

Rachel now monitors irrigation throughout Central Otago for Hydroservices Ltd. She completed a Diploma in Horticulture, and while she now works in the viticulture industry, believes "the experiences with other crops have really helped to strengthen my decisions over the years.” 

Murray, who gained a Diploma in Viticulture, agrees, describing graduates as the “well-rounded person that employers would look for to be their next vineyard manager.”

To anyone considering studying Viticulture, he says: “Take it up, as the wine industry is very short of skilled labour and managers.”