Fees-FREE | NZ Certificate in Cellar Operations [Level 3]

Study Options



6 months



Work as a Cellar Operator

If you want a taste of working hands-on for a winery at vintage then this certificate is the perfect way in to 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 Hawkes Bay wineries.


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.

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

Fees and Costs


NZ Citizens and NZ Permanent Residents: Fees-FREE

International Students: $10,500 approx including GST

Optional Purchases (approximate costs only):

$80 work boots
$35 gumboots

Contact Person

Jo Rolfe – Programme Secretary

Ph: +64 6 8301913

Email: JRolfe@eit.ac.nz

Subject Areas

This programme:

  • Aims to prepare students to work as entry level cellar operators in commercial wine cellar operations.
  • Aims to provide students with practical knowledge of processes involved with commercial wine cellar operations plus current health and safety information.
  • Provides opportunities for students to practice a range of team cellar operations applying correct protocols and safety measures.

Study Pathways

Graduates are well-placed to pathway onto the NZ Certificate in Cellar Operations [Level 4].  

Graduates who wish to pursue an academic pathway may also be able to pathway onto the EIT Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine Science, subject to meeting entry requirements.

Career Opportunities

Possible job opportunities may include:

– Cellarhand
– Cellar Supervisor

Work Experience

Students are required to participate in practical work associated with the winery. The entry interview will involve representatives of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry.

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

Programme Dates

Programme Starts:  Monday, 18 January 2021

  • 6 weeks of study and winery practical
  • 6+ weeks paid vintage
  • Part-time completion of final course

Programme Ends: Friday, 2 July 2021

Entry Criteria

Domestic Entry

English Language Entry Requirement

International Student Entry Criteria


On campus classes are usually scheduled between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm 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.

Literacy and Numeracy Skills

A literacy and numeracy assessment is part of the preparation for all level one to three programmes. This is a national requirement from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).  This assessment gives your tutors information about what you already know so that they can provide the required help for you to succeed in your studies.

There are two assessments.  The first assessment will take place within the first three weeks of the programme. The second will be a week or two before you finish the programme.  This final assessment will show how your literacy and numeracy skills have improved.

There will always be a tutor to help you when doing the assessment. The most important thing to know about this assessment is that you CANNOT fail.  You will merely get feedback on your literacy and numeracy skills. The result will NOT have an impact on any of your assessment marks in your course work.


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.

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

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

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