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Study and Career Pathways for Science Graduates in Viticulture and Oenology in New Zealand

There is a lot of interest in the wine industry of New Zealand.

The climate in New Zealand is relatively cool. This combined with New Zealand’s climate diverse soil types produces a varied range of wine styles. These wines are praised in the international community both on taste and modern proficient production.

New Zealand wines are extremely popular domestically and internationally – the most popular export markets for New Zealand wines being the U.S., Canada, Britain, and China. With international demand continuing to increase, this has resulted in a skill shortage in New Zealand for Viticulture and Oenology. Not only are these careers highly rewarding but they are also lucrative.

Read on about how to find your career in Viticulture and Oenology in New Zealand.

What is Viticulture and Oenology?

Oenology is the general study of wine and wine making whereas viticulture refers to the practice and study of vine growing and grape cultivation.

Viticulture falls under the umbrella of horticultural science. Studying viticulture includes learning about grape production – this also includes plant biology, chemistry as well as the soil science. When you study viticulture, you also learn about the technical aspects of grape production and processing as well as vineyard management and systems.

While most people who study viticulture and oenology generally want to get involved in the wine industry, some do choose this career path to be outside and work with the land. When you study all aspects of viticulture and oenology – and understand all aspects of the vineyard from growing the grapes to the sales and the commercial aspects of running production – you will be well equipped with experience and skills that have a high value domestically in New Zealand and in the broader international market.

What is the Career Outlook for Viticulture and Oenology in New Zealand?

The is currently a skill shortage for viticulturists and other oenology specialist positions in New Zealand. Specific skill shortages exist in the Canterbury, upper South Island and Otago/Southland regions.

Employers highly value the skills gained by getting a degree in viticulture and oenology. You will need a little experience to get a job in specialist positions. Getting experience is relatively easy – you can get experience by working in a wine-related industry in New Zealand.

Associated industries to the wine industry include:

  • Brewing
  • Spirit distilling
  • Wine tourism

According to the website Occupation Outlook- – the average yearly income in 2017 for winemakers was $77,200.

How to get an Education in Viticulture and Oenology

You can get degrees and post grad for viticulture and oenology in a variety of schools in New Zealand including the following:

  • Eastern Institute of Technology:
  • Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology:
  • Lincoln University:

Specialist Positions in Viticulture and Oenology

There are a variety of different types of positions you can get in get in the viticulture and oenology field.

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles in the field. Some of the listed positions require a higher skill level than others.

  • Oenologist
  • Assistant winemaker
  • Cellar hand
  • Biochemist or biotechnologist
  • Brewer
  • Chemist
  • Food technologist

A Career in Viticulture and Oenology in New Zealand

With the skill shortage that currently exists in viticulture in New Zealand now is a great time to grab a degree and jump into the industry.

There are many types of career paths for the skills and experience gained from your education in viticulture and the industry is expected to have steady growth well into the future.

To discuss your career and study pathways in Viticulture and Oenology write and send you CV to


10 thoughts on “Study and Career Pathways for Science Graduates in Viticulture and Oenology in New Zealand

  1. Hoi, I live in India I like farming worker job I have completed to bachelor degree in Art’s. Can you help me getting job and suggestion I am ready for work and learning in new technology.
    Thank you.

  2. I am a chemist.I would like to study about Wine and other alcoholic beverages.I have a Master Degree analytical chemistry and i am working in Coconut Arrak industry.

  3. Hi, I am dinindu from Sri Lanka, currently working as a food technologist and I prefer to work in New Zealand. I am holding a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in agricultural technology with food science and technology major and do have about 2 years experience in the food and beverages industry. I would like to know, is there any possibility to get a New Zealand job and can you help me find a job?
    Thank You.

  4. Hope to settle in Nz..
    Im an Agriculture Extension Officer for over 5years with a Diploma in Agriculture and a Dachelors in Plantation management. My wife is a Government nurse for around 5years.
    We are hopping to complete IELTS by the end of the year. Plz advise On further details. Thank you.

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