A viticulture and winemaking programme is set to resume at EIT Tairāwhiti next year, thanks to collaboration between the institute and the wine industry.
Members of the industry were disappointed when the programme was axed last year due to a lack of enrolments.
EIT has taken their concerns on board and formulated a Level 3 certificate programme that better meets the industry’s needs. It will be marketed widely including online and in industry publications.
“This is very positive news for us,” says Gisborne Winegrowers president Annie Millton.
“We are all very excited and will do our best to fill the seats and get some heart and soul back into the viticulture and winemaking programme here,” she said.
“There are many jobs in the industry and many of them have traditionally been filled by graduates from EIT. We need good people which is why this programme is so important to us.”
Following rationalisations in the industry nationwide over the past few years, the future was again looking positive. Chardonnay in particular is making a strong comeback.
The new programme would include a strong emphasis on sustainability, including organics and biodynamics.
These aspects were becoming a very important part of the wine industry in New Zealand. They would also make the EIT programme unique in this country.
The programme would be hands-on and practical.
“We want our local graduates to hit the ground running.”
The industry training components would be timed to coincide with the vintage, said EIT acting Head of School Viticulture and Winemaking Jenny Robertson.
“The programme will be based at EIT’s rural studies unit in Stout Street, but vineyards will be the main classroom,” she said.
The local industry was helping provide the latter, and were also helping in the search for a suitable tutor.
The new programme will start in July. It will be run in two parts, with intakes starting in July and February.
It will be fees free for New Zealand residents.
To find out more about this programme click here