Stu­dents ex­plore wide world of wine

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By EMMA DAWE

It’s one of the big­gest in­dus­tries in Cen­tral Otago, and a group of Cromwell chil­dren are be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to learn all about it. The ‘‘Birth of Wine’’ pro­ject is an ini­tia­tive by the Cen­tral Otago Wine­grow­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion and aims to teach chil­dren about the life of a grape – from plant­ing through to har­vest. Co-or­di­na­tor Heather McPher­son said the as­so­ci­a­tion came up with the idea last year as part of its cel­e­bra­tions to ac­knowl­edge 25 years since the first com­mer­cial wine was re­leased, but it didn’t have time to start the ini­tia­tive then. ‘‘The idea is to in­volve the chil­dren in the yearly cy­cle of the grape so they can see it through the dif­fer­ent stages. ‘‘There are lots of par­ents of chil­dren in­volved in the in­dus­try and it’s such a big, im­por­tant in­dus­try in Cen­tral Otago so that’s why we thought of it.’’ Pupils from Cromwell Pri­mary School re­cently spent time at Akarua Win­ery in Cromwell, where they sam­pled har­vested grapes, viewed the wine fer­ment­ing in the vats and even hand­painted a barrel for the win­ery. Cromwell Pri­mary School teacher Karen Huf­fa­dine said it was a ‘‘fan­tas­tic’’ pro­ject which the chil­dren were loving be­ing a part of. Ms McPher­son said the chil­dren would visit vine­yards and winer­ies dur­ing the grow­ing pe­riod, dur­ing har­vest­ing and again dur­ing prun­ing. She hoped the ini­tia­tive would be able to be ex­tended to other pri­mary schools in the re­gion in the fu­ture. Later this month, sec­ondary school pupils from through­out the re­gion who have an in­ter­est in the in­dus­try will get the chance to spend some time with viti­cul­tur­ists and wine­mak­ers.


Corker: Cromwell Pri­mary School pupils Caitlin Cross­well, 7, left, Amanda Hig­gie, 6, Bil­lie-Rose Craig, 6 and Abbey Bis­set, 6, with the wine barrel their class painted dur­ing their visit to Akarua Win­ery.

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