United Australia Party

TAFE NSW Serves Up Winemaking Diploma For First Time Across State

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

IMAGE: Student Alistair Tringham learns the art of viticulture at the TAFE NSW Kurri Kurri vineyard during block training as part of the Diploma of Viticulture.

For the first time ever, the State’s aspiring winemakers and vineyard managers can enrol in the Diploma of Viticulture at TAFE NSW.

Enrolments will be open from late April, following a successful pilot delivered virtually across the state last year.

The diploma provides training in the operation and management of grape production and winemaking - skills in high demand across the sector.

Prior to this, the diploma was only delivered face-to-face at Kurri Kurri.

The wine industry currently contributes billions to the NSW economy each year and is a significant employer in regional NSW as well as being a major driver of the state’s $38 billion tourism sector.

NSW Wine Industry Association Executive Officer Angus Barnes, also a student in the pilot Diploma, said delivery of the course via virtual learning was a game-changer for the NSW wine industry.

“This is welcome news for wine grape growers and wine producers right across the state,” Mr Barnes said.

“TAFE NSW is the only registered training organisation offering this qualification.

“Providing the opportunity for people to access this training from anywhere in NSW means distance is no longer a barrier for those who want to make their mark in the industry.”

TAFE NSW Team Leader of Agribusiness Craig Conway said as part of the new state-wide model, students learn together in a virtual classroom and undertake assessments in blocks at Kurri Kurri or at vineyards nearest to where a group of six or more students are located.

“We are so excited to now welcome applications from wine-growing regions right across NSW.”

The winery at TAFE NSW Kurri Kurri was first established in the 1990s after the wine industry approached TAFE NSW to find solutions to an urgent need for skilled staff, and it has since become a hub for developing advanced viticulture skills.

The Diploma of Viticulture delivers world-class skills in how to monitor and manage soils for production, evaluate wine, diagnose plant health, manage staff, develop a grape production plan, oversee vineyard practices, manage water systems, operate machinery, and much more.

Mr Conway said NSW produced some of the country’s best wines and access to this training would help nurture new talent and ensure we remained a significant player on the world stage.

“The beauty of the virtual classroom model is it enables students to interact and collaborate despite physical distance, which is a vital part of the Diploma experience,” Mr Conway said.

“Giving these aspiring winemakers and vineyard managers the opportunity to bounce ideas off one another and gain inspiration is central to what makes this course so popular and successful.”

Wines previously made by TAFE NSW Diploma of Viticulture students have been judged against some of the best winemakers in Australia and New Zealand, with their Intuition range of wines, winning multiple gold, silver, and bronze awards.

The next Diploma of Viticulture begins on April 26 and places are limited. Contact 131 601 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au for further information.

Glenice Buck Designs

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