Producing New Zealand’s world class wines creates career opportunities – join us in the vineyard, in the winery or in one of the many roles that support our industry. 

Grapes growing on vines

Opportunities in winegrowing

The wine industry offers both seasonal work and permanent roles. Entry level roles include seasonal work in the vineyard and winery, with options for training and tertiary study available. These could lead to opportunities in permanent roles such as vineyard manager, viticulturist, or winemaker.

Spring and summer work in the vineyards starts in September through to February or March. Grape harvest times vary from year to year but generally start late February (in Northland) through to early April (Central Otago). Winter maintenance begins in April through to September.


I went into the cellar and I thought, ‘my gosh, this is amazing’. I was overwhelmed by it and decided that’s what I wanted to do.

Katie Bruce, Vineyard hand

Types of jobs in winegrowing

  • Viticulturist

    Salary: $96,000-$128,000+ per year*

    Viticulturists grow and harvest grapes from grapevines, and manage vineyards.

    Salary for viticulturists varies depending on skills, experience, and the type of work they do. Job opportunities range from vineyard workers and supervisors to vineyard managers and viticulturists.

    * NZ Winegrowers, 2020. Image courtesy of Escarpment.Vineyard.

    Two men rake picked grapes
  • Winemaker

    Salary: $89,000-$211,000+ per year*

    Winemakers are involved from the moment the grape is picked, all the way through to bottling and packaging the wine for sale. They're also involved in developing the wine style and improving the wine quality.


    * NZ Winegrowers, 2020. Image courtesy of Villa Maria.

    A man standing by wine barrels
  • Vintage cellar hand

    Vintage cellar hands assist and support the winemaker in the production of wine and are integral to the day-to-day operation of a winery, performing a wide range of tasks from processing fruit, through to fermentation, finishing, and maturing wine.

    * NZ Winegrowers, 2020. Image courtesy of Spy Valley Wines.

    A woman stands between a number of wine barrels
  • Vineyard maintenance

    Entry level vineyard maintenance roles involve maintaining the vines during their summer growth phase, and pruning them in winter.


    * NZ Winegrowers, 2020. Image courtesy of Matawhero Wines.

    A number of people tend to vines

Learn more about wine careers with New Zealand Wine

Seasonal job support

New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme

If you're looking at working in a seasonal job in viticulture for six weeks or more, you may be eligible for support with transport, clothing, moving costs and accommodation costs. 

You may also qualify for an incentive payment. 


Check your eligibility

Learning and training opportunities

There are opportunities across Aotearoa to study, from polytechnics to universities with many offering practical experience in vineyards and on wineries. 

Keen to learn more?

Find out about a range of food and fibre jobs, what skills are needed and training available.


Connecting you to support.

View the support options available to you on your work, education or training journey.