Professional Wine Knowledge (Sommelier)



New opportunities for careers in wine have recently become available, reflecting global interest and demand for fine wines.

The New Zealand School of Food & Wine is the only WSET® authorised provider in New Zealand offering a 12 week classroom based teaching programme.

This intensive programme offers the hospitality professional or the wine enthusiast an international qualification that provides a thorough understanding of the principle wines and spirits of the world and key factors influencing style, quality and value.

tasting%20floor1%20small tasting%20floor2%20small tasting%20floor3%20small

Each week you will learn about international wines from all major wine producing countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Australia through tastings and self-directed study. You will study the principles underlying food and wine matching as well as learn how Microsoft Excel can be used to present and cost wine lists and manage inventory control. There will be a visit to well-known local vineyards where you will learn about viticulture and wine making practices from highly respected wine makers. The programme includes practical hospitality workshops and a real workplace experience to test your wine knowledge and service skills.

To ensure you receive all of the training required to operate within the hospitality industry you will also receive your Food Safety and Licence Controller qualifications.


Entry Requirements

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Attend an interview in person or by telephone
  • IELTS 6 or equivalent for international students*
  • Valid visitor visa for international students

* English language pathways available.

Pathways to further study

Graduates can return to NZSFW to join the Certificate in Cookery and NZ Certificate in Hospitality Level 5.

Career Opportunities

You will be able to work as a wine and spirit professional in all fields of the hospitality, service and wine industries. This may be in your own business, or in wine retail outlets, wineries, wine companies, resorts, lodges, cruise liners, luxury yachts, restaurants or cafés - there are many opportunities to explore once you graduate.


All graduates have access to the NZSFW Internship Placement Service and internships.

Wine & Spirit Education Trust

WSET® is the qualification awarding division of the London Wine & Spirit Education Trust and accredited by the British qualifications authority. These qualifications are essential for students wishing to study for the Masters of Wine. You will earn four WSET® Awards in this programme.


What Qualifications will I Gain?

  • NZSFW Certificate in Wine
  • NZSFW Certificate in Professional Wine Knowledge, Sommelier
  • WSET® Level 1 Award in Wines
  • WSET® Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits
  • WSET® Level 2 Award in Spirits
  • WSET® Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits
  • Food Safety Unit Standards
  • Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) Unit Standards

Programme Start Dates

Monday - Friday 9am - 2:30pm

  • 30 November - 26 February 2016
    Summer Intensive Course: time off over Xmas
  • 9 February - 29 April 2016

Course Fees

New Zealand Students/Australian Students:

  • NZ$3750
  • + WSET® texts books and examinations of $850
  • Total fees: NZ$4600*

International Students:

  • NZ$7,820
  • + WSET® texts books and examinations of $850
  • Total fees: NZ$8,670

*New Zealand students receive a subsidy from the New Zealand Government.

Fees include WSET® examination fees, textbooks, wine tastings, day trips and guest lectures.

Part time options

You can take each certification separately as below:

Certificate in Wine (Includes WSET Level 1)

WSET Level 2 (Intermediate)

WSET Level 3 (Advanced)


Choose your desired date above. Clicking on the date will redirect you to our enrolment form, where you can pay online.

Please feel free to email us with your enquiries.

© The New Zealand School of Food and Wine