The next generation of potential winemakers have been found at Broke Public School and with thanks to Margan wines, Tyrell’s winery, Trevor Tullson and the Hunter Valley Bottling Company, the school has produced a cracking 2017 vintage.
The schools vineyard was planted in 2002 by Margan family wines as a thank you gift for schooling their children. Once the family had left the school, the maintenance and upkeep of the vineyard was handed over to the schools P&C.
P&C president Candice Corrie decided to put some tender, love and care into the untouched vineyard last year to produce harvest for a vintage. Both P&C and students spent weeks pruning, picking and taking care of the fruit up until it was ready for harvest.
“Being situated in wine country with all of the surrounding vineyards and wineries, we do want to educate the students about the wine making industry and what is actually around us. Many of the student’s have families that are involved in the wine industry or live on a property with surrounding vineyards, so informing the students about Broke being wine country is very important,” explains principal Lesley Burley.
The students learnt about the process of wine making , ‘grape stomping’, differing soil properties, the growth cycle of vineyards and what the term ‘vintage’ means in the wine industry.
‘We made the students seriously think about the grapes, the texture, the flavour, the crop, what else grapes could be used for, soil testing’ principal Lesley tells us.
The grapes used in the wine were a mixed blend of Chambourcin grapes from the school vineyard and a load of Chambourcin grapes kindly donated by local Trevor Tullson.
The processing of the wine was done through Tyrell’s winery and furthermore bottled by the Hunter Valley bottling company, both situated a 15 minute drive into Pokolbin from the school. The vintage produced roughly 1400 bottles (144 cases) of wine.
The school hosted a label design competition to determine what the label on the bottle would look like. School captain Lily Fernance was voted as best design . “I wanted to keep it simple and show the vineyards,” explains Lily.
Candice will hopefully be selling the first release of the vintage at the upcoming Broke fair this Sunday pending the license to sell it is approved in time and after will be searching for local distributors to partner with.
“It has been a huge project that the P&C have worked really hard on and now to see the final results and hopefully be able to distribute what we have made is awesome,” Candice tells us.