Viticulture at NMIT

About NMIT...

North Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) is the biggest provider of training to the agriculture sector with courses delivered from the Epping Campus located on Melbourne's northern rural fringe.

Located 40kms north of Melbourne in the beautiful foothills of Victoria's Great Dividing Range is NMIT's 320 hectare farm, Northern Lodge at Eden Park. The stud provides dedicated training for two of Victoria's prospering industries; thoroughbred racing and viticulture. Fourteen grape varieties are grown at Northern Lodge including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. While adding to their own skills and knowledge, the work of viticulture and winemaking students also contributes towards the NMIT's goal of developing Eden Park into a productive vineyard.

NMIT celebrated the bottling of its first vintage in 1998. With two gold medals, three silver medals and thirty four bronze medals for its award-winning wines, NMIT has established its wine label - ACW - as a prestigious and high quality drop in the Australian wine industry.

NMIT first established an eight-hectare vineyard in 1995 at Eden Park, which produces not only about 30,000 bottles of red and white wine a year, but also enables its students to work on a commercial vineyard where they can receive the finest education and training in a range of diverse programs including viticulture, wine making, wine evaluation and wine marketing. Intensive short courses are offered as well as longer study programs from certificate through to diploma level. A vocational degree will also be on offer in the near future. In 2001, NMIT received a State Government grant of $7.4m to further develop its wine education programs and it established another 28-hectare vineyard at its Ararat campus in Ararat in regional Victoria as well as a two-hectare vineyard at Yarra Glen where students can obtain practical work experience as part of their comprehensive training.

What is viticulture & wine making?

Viticulture is the production of premium quality grapes and covers vineyard establishment and harvesting, involving the design, construction and management of vineyards.

Wine making involves processing of the grapes, bottling and the marketing of wine.

Why study viticulture & wine making at NMIT?

The course at NMIT provides a study of the science and technology of viticulture & wine making and the application of this knowledge on site at NMIT's diverse vineyard locations (encompassing five different climatic regions) and wineries. NMIT has established the vineyards and wineries as research and commercial facilities designed to industry standards.

The Bachelor of Viticulture and Wine making is taught by qualified academic staff supported by highly-experienced industry practitioners.

The multi-disciplinary course is designed to produce graduates with an extensive and specialised knowledge of viticulture and wine making practices through all seasons of the grape growing and wine making calendars. This course includes a study of plant biology and physiology, microbiology, entomology, chemistry, soil science and water management.

With rapid expansion of the Australian and international viticulture and wine making industry there is a need for skilled professionals to improve sustainability in both production and management.

Employment opportunities in the viticulture or wine making industries include owner/manager of a winery or vineyard, technical assistant, winery laboratory technician, winemakers assistant, wine/viticulture education, wine marketer, wine retailer, wine exporter. Graduates will be equipped to continue to postgraduate study or employment as professionals in the viticulture or wine making industry.