Careers encouraged in Central Otago's wine industry

Mt Difficulty regional sales manager Greg Wilkinson holding a tasting in the cellar door.
Photo: supplied

Mt Difficulty regional sales manager Greg Wilkinson holding a tasting in the cellar door. Photo: supplied

Wine is one of Central Otago's most important industries and people interested in making it their career will get a chance to learn all about it.

As part of the 2015 Otago Careers Festival, the Central Otago Winegrowers' Association, with the support of the Otago Polytechnic, is hosting a seminar called "Introducing the Wine Industry" for anyone interested in becoming involved in the industry.

Association executive officer Natalie Wilson said the first part of the three-hour session will include an overview of the Central Otago wine industry, including job prospects, by Robin Dicey, along with presentations from winemaker Jen Parr, from Valli, viticulturist Nick Paulin, from Peregrine Wines and an overview of the Otago Polytechnic viticulture course by lecturer Alex Huffadine.

University of Otago representative Dr Damien Mather and Glen Creasy, from Lincoln, will also be there to talk about the courses they offer. 

The second part of the session will include a tour of a vineyard and winery by Dicey to see the different roles in action. 

All Central Otago secondary schools have been invited to attend the event, and anyone who might be unemployed or looking for a career change is also invited to attend, Wilson said.

Cromwell man Greg Wilkinson attended the inaugural seminar two years ago after giving up his 20-year career in the insurance industry for a change in direction in his career.

While he was initially unsure if the wine industry was for him, after attending the seminar and hearing a broad overview of the industry, he felt there was a place for him.

Since then, he has worked in several areas of the industry, including picking grapes, doing other vineyard work, working in the cellar door at Mt Difficulty, and now working as the regional sales manager for Mt Difficulty.

He was pleased he had attended the seminar two years ago and urged anyone who was thinking about entering the industry or was curious about it, to make sure they went to this year's seminar.

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What: Introducing the Wine Industry seminar

When: Thursday, May 28, 3pm-6pm

Where: Otago Polytechnic campus, Bannockburn Rd

Cost: Free

Registrations: To Natalie at

 - The Mirror


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