Students explore wide world of wine
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.