Wine students bottle fruits of their labour

First year students, from left, Andrew Pearce, Matt White and Eliza Dozell discuss the blends they have created.
PAULA HULBURT/FAIRFAX NZ

First year students, from left, Andrew Pearce, Matt White and Eliza Dozell discuss the blends they have created.

Student winemakers have been bottling their own blends created from grapes they grew themselves.

First year Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking students in Blenheim have been sipping the sweet taste of success as their own creations were finally bottled last week.

It is the culmination of months of hard work for the students who all hope to pursue a career in the industry. 

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology wine tutor David Hayward says the 18 students have been responsible for the whole winemaking process.

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"They learn about all aspects of the business from start to finish. The first semester is a busy one with students learning, among other things, about grape varieties, pruning, soil types and bottling; it's all gone really well.

Wine tutor David Hayward oversees students as they grow their own grapes at the campus vineyard.
PAULA HULBURT/FAIRFAX NZ

Wine tutor David Hayward oversees students as they grow their own grapes at the campus vineyard.

"Most people fall in love with wine a bit later in life and we have a range of students from school leavers through to students in their 50s.

"There is no wrong time time to get involved."

At the Blenheim campus, the room where the team works is tinged with the warm aroma of fruit. There are pink footprints of wine on the floor and the students are focused on the bottling process in hand.

First year NMIT student and future winemaker Rebecca Curran focuses on bottling her blend, created using grapes grown at ...
PAULA HULBURT/FAIRFAX NZ

First year NMIT student and future winemaker Rebecca Curran focuses on bottling her blend, created using grapes grown at the Marlborough campus.

The wine is produced in small non-commercial volumes which will net each student about 60 bottles. What variety of wine they produce is down to individual students.

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In the vineyard behind the classrooms, 18 varieties of grape are grown so there is no shortage to chose from.

Esvin Wine Resources Ltd in Auckland donated all the bottles and the screw caps came from The Bottling Co. in Blenheim.

Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking students decant their creations in bottles donated by Esvin Wine Resources Ltd.
PAULA HULBURT/FAIRFAX NZ

Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking students decant their creations in bottles donated by Esvin Wine Resources Ltd.

Undergraduate Rebecca Curran came to Blenheim from Auckland to study towards her degree.

"I love that the course is so hands-on and, of course, is right in the heart of wine country.

"People are really friendly and it's a great place to meet people involved in the industry too," she says.

The programme was developed in consultation with key industry players including Pernod Ricard, Indevin, Wither Hills, WaterForce, Wine Marlborough and Plant and Food Research. 

For further information about the course visit nmit.ac.nz

 - The Marlborough Express

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