Return home sparks career change to winemaking

09 Dec 2021

A move back home to Hawke’s Bay gave EIT graduate, Anna Young, the impetus she needed to make a career change and pursue her long-held dream of becoming a winemaker.

Anna Young

Anna had worked for a financial services company in Wellington before moving to the UK where she lived for more than 12 years. “I worked for one of the big banks there, Citigroup, in marketing as well. The job involved campaign and communication management for their different retail products.”

“To be honest, I had become a little bit disillusioned with marketing. I was sick of sitting in an office staring at a computer every day."

For Anna, who has an Honours degree in Business Studies and Marketing, the timing of her move back to Hawke’s Bay in 2019 was spot on. “It was the right time for me to really make that jump and do something different,” she says. “I’d done an introductory wine paper when I was back at university, which I really enjoyed.”

Anna, who was appointed Trainee Winemaker at Trinity Hill, Hawke’s Bay in May, credits the Graduate Diploma in Oenology that she attained from EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science for much of her success. “The programme really gave me quite an advantage and a really good background for those technical elements of wine-making.’

The Graduate Diploma in Oenology at EIT provided Anna with the opportunity to combine “the creative, scientific and technical side” of winemaking.

“It's kind of the best of both worlds, because you have that science element – the chemistry, microbiology, and then you've got the creative, intuitive side of winemaking, your sensory analysis.”

After only three months interning as a cellar hand/lab assistant at Trinity Hill, Anna was offered a permanent role as Trainee Winemaker. She is still coming to terms with this “absolutely amazing opportunity”.

“I really think that undertaking the graduate diploma has provided the knowledge and practical experience to secure this role. It has given me all the technical background for the science side of wine-making – not only the how, but more importantly the ‘why’. It is these technical elements and the sensory analysis side you really hone at EIT.”

One could say that the study bug has well and truly bitten as Anna plans to further her studies at some stage in the future. As for the present, Anna’s goal is to “have a long career in wine-making”. She says, “I really love it and I’ve got great mentors in  Chief Winemaker Warren Gibson and Damian Fischer, the Trinity Hill Winemaker, to learn from as well”.

The EIT Graduate Diplomas in Viticulture Science and Wine Science have been fully revamped and updated for 2022. Each qualification can be completed full-time in one year on campus or online with residential schools. Both are fees-free for 2022!

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