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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
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New Zealand Certificate in Cellar Operations (Level 3)

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Want to work as a cellar operator in commercial wine cellar operations?

With work experience and field trips, what better place to learn about wine than in the heart of one of the most-renowned wine making regions of New Zealand?

During this programme you’ll learn all about:

  • the wine industry, wine making processes, and plant and equipment that you’d use as a cellar operator
  • legislation, regulatory, food safety and workplace and personal health and safety requirements
  • how to work effectively in a team when transferring wine to meet production requirements
  • how to complete routine cellar operation tasks.

Plus, Otago Polytechnic holds an accredited membership status for Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. All our lecturers within this programme are recognised as sustainable practitioners, incorporating best practice in their teaching at all times, and your work placements will take place in a variety of sustainably-accredited wineries. This is an entry-level programme designed for people already working in a winery at an entry level, or for those who want to enter the wine industry.

How will I learn?

Off-site and workplace learning: You'll be based at the Central Otago Campus and will complete off-site and workplace learning as part of your programme. Off-site and workplace learning are a great way of gaining the practical skills you need within a real-world setting. This is also a good way for you to learn about the professional requirements of this industry. During the Cellar Operations course, you'll undertake 180 hours of practical work within a commercial vintage. All workplace activity is supervised by experienced workers.

Work experience: Our staff support you to find potential work placements in the local area. They'll also help you organise the placement. Before your work placement begins, a written agreement will be signed by you, an Otago Polytechnic staff member and your employer outlining expectations, and roles and responsibilities. Just so everyone is on the same page. You'll complete 295 hours of work experience during the programme. During this time, our staff will be in touch with you to make sure you're going ok.

Field trips: You'll also take part in field trips to local wineries. Our staff will accompany you on these trips.

Entry criteria

Students need to have achieved a secondary school qualification that is equivalent to New Zealand’s NCEA levels (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). Entry requirements vary from country to country.

Academic requirements: For those under 20: NCEA Level 1. For those 20 and above: No minimum academic requirements.

Overall Academic IELTS 5.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PToE (Academic) score of 36; Language Certificate: B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

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