FREE | NZ Certificate in Cellar Operations [Level 3]

Study Options



5 months



Are you interested in a pathway into the wine industry?

Ever wondered what it would be like to work in a winery?

If you want a taste of working hands-on for a winery at vintage then this certificate is the perfect pathway into the exciting wine industry. You will gain a sound base of theory alongside valuable experience in the practical skills required to work a winery vintage. The programme is run in tandem with Hawke’s Bay wineries and involves full-time vintage work.

Final entry by interview late November.

To find out more contact Jo Rolfe, Programme Secretary, or phone 06 830 1913


The NZ Certificate in Cellar Operations [Level 3] is an intensive programme covering the basics of winemaking and finishing procedures during a winery harvest, and working in a cellar team. The integrated practical work is run in tandem with Hawke’s Bay wineries.

The courses are suitable for those with no previous experience or winery workers with some experience but no formal qualifications in the cellar operations area.

The NZ Certificate in Cellar Operations [Level 3] will give you the introductory skills needed to start your first vintage in a cellar. You could then progress onto related higher education programmes.

Upon graduating you will be able to:

  • Work as an entry level cellar operator in commercial wine cellar operations.
  • Utilise practical knowledge of processes involved with commercial wine cellar operations plus current health and safety information.
  • Utilise a range of team cellar operations applying correct protocols and safety measures.

Successful entry into the course will be by application and interview.

Career Opportunities and Outcomes

Graduates who wish to pursue an academic pathway could transition onto the EIT Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine Science in July 2022, subject to meeting entry requirements.

Possible job opportunities may include working full-time in a winery as a cellar hand.


There is one entry point per year:

  • February

Fees and Costs



Optional Purchases (approximate costs only):

$80 work boots
$35 gumboots

* This is a guide only based on the previous year. All costs quoted include GST and student services levy. Fees apply to New Zealand citizens and New Zealand permanent residents only.

Work Experience

Students are required to participate in practical work associated with a winery.

The entry interview will involve representatives of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry.

During harvest (March-April) successful applicants will complete a paid vintage of at least six weeks in a commercial winery.


On campus classes are usually scheduled between 8.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Each course in this programme requires independent learning outside of classroom hours.

Practical vintage work could involve shift work of up to 12 hours per day in a commercial winery.


Entry Requirements

English Language Entry Requirement


The facilities comprise of an on-site winery complex and vineyard. Adjacent to the winery are modern classrooms and teaching laboratories allowing the ready integration of theoretical and practical aspects of winemaking and vineyard management.

You will also go out to a commercial winery to complete learning practical requirements.

Courses within the Programme


Compulsory Courses

Brief Description

No. of Credits

NZQA Level

Semester offered



Wine and the Wine Industry

Introduction to the NZ Wine industry and the principles of working effectively in a cellar team





Wine Processing

Outline red and white winemaking processes and the safe use of the equipment required





Cellar Operations

Completion of a range of team cellar operations applying correct protocols and safety measures





Wine Management Post-Fermentation

Introduce the stages of finishing a wine following correct protocols and safety procedures




Academic Learning Services

Academic Learning Services is here to assist you on your journey towards the successful completion of your studies at EIT. Our aim is for you to become confident, competent and independent learners.

We have dedicated advisors who can assist with your learning.

Find out more:

Hawke’s Bay Campus


EIT offers a variety of scholarships across various subjects and programme levels.  Some scholarships are based on your age, some are specific to the subject you want to study.  Not all scholarships are based on your academic ability and anyone wanting to study should investigate what scholarships are available to them.  

You can find a list of EIT scholarships here however there are many more scholarships offered nationally.  Information about these is on an database called “givME”. givME is accessible at EIT or at some public libraries. If you would like to come to EIT to look through the giveME database don’t hesitate to contact or call in for a chat.