Villa Maria Estate – New Zealand’s most awarded winery – has formed a partnership with New Zealand Management Academies (NZMA), offering hospitality and cookery students some unique training and employment opportunities.
The recently-signed agreement will see NZMA students learn about viticulture, wine appreciation and food matching from some of Villa Maria’s top wine makers and viticulturists. Guest speakers from the winery will hold workshops for students throughout the year and educational visits to the Villa Maria winery in Mangere will also be regular highlights.
Villa Maria Estate Territory Manager Sophie Laroche says the winery is excited to be involved in shaping New Zealand’s up and coming hospitality professionals.
“As New Zealand’s most awarded winery for over 30 years, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in the food and beverage industry stars of tomorrow,” she says.
“It’s extremely important to us to be involved with those who will be serving our wines in restaurants and bars around the world in the future. With a diverse student population and quality courses including wine appreciation and viticulture, NZMA is a perfect match for Villa Maria Estate to support.”
Twenty-five of NZMA’s National Certificate in Hospitality Level 4 students recently enjoyed the first NZMA trip to the winery, where they were treated to a viticulture tour as well as a wine tasting session at the cellar door.
NZMA Employment Advisor, Tim Green, says the new partnership is far-reaching, and has huge benefits for both organisations.
“Villa Maria will be involved in all of our industry advisory groups and meetings to ensure all the wine appreciation and evaluation work we do is on track, and our graduates are work-ready. Our close ties with Villa Maria will help us fine-tune our courses and become even more practically-orientated,” says Tim.
“Villa Maria runs a huge number of events over the summer months and they say it’s hard to find good, passionate staff. Now they will be training our students in wine matching and appreciation, and opening up the opportunity for them to then work at these events. For Villa Maria it takes the headache out of finding good staff, and for us it gives our students the chance to gain some great work experience. It’s a win-win!”
As well as the training and employment opportunities, Villa Maria Estate is now also NZMA’s preferred wine supplier and will provide a regular stream of complimentary tickets to their highly sought-after monthly wine tastings. These popular events provide a great chance to network with industry experts, and are run by some of the top wine makers in the country.