Viticulture - Vines

Viticulture relates to growing and harvesting grapes before wine production. As a key wine producing region there is plenty of work in Marlborough and Nelson / Tasman that can lead to permanent roles.


In Marlborough, the largest wine growing region in New Zealand, the vineyards are in the areas surrounding Blenheim. In Nelson/Tasman, work can be found around Richmond, Moutere and Motueka. You can work with a vineyard labour contracting company, or direct with a vineyard.

Learn more about the roles


Harvest (picking the grapes) is completed by hand or machine when the grapes are at just the right sweetness/acidity levels. Machine harvesters travel through the vineyards and gently shake the fruit from the vines. The hand picking is used to produce the highest quality wine, as this is more time consuming and selects the finest grapes that are cut from the vine with secateurs.


The pruning season requires a huge amount of effort and labour force and is very important as it affects the quality of the new fruit that will grow in summer. Pruning starts after harvest once the vine has dropped its leaves.

Thinning, bud rubbing, lifting

There are a variety of tasks completed over this time - the role is often advertised as vineyard worker or labourer. Thinning is the removal of excess shoots; bud rubbing involves removing buds from the vine stems so that the energy is used to grow the new main buds; and the wire lifting is moving the wire to guide the vine to grow upwards.

Plan Your Next Step

Come and see what our industry has to offer and plan an employment and training path.

For Employers

If your work is coming to an end and you are interested in seasonal workforce redeployment please contact:

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