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Students to get a taste of viticulture

4 February 2005

Students to get a taste of viticulture

A Waiheke vineyard will provide University of Auckland wine science students with a real taste of what it takes to turn out a fine vintage.

The University's Faculty of Science has leased the Fossil Bay Vineyard for a period of at least five years, which wine science programme director Dr Paul Kilmartin says will play an important role in teaching and research.

"Wine production is a process from the vine to the mouth. So it's really critical that we approach the study of winemaking from many aspects. The vineyard adds a new facet to our programme."

Wine science technician Jan Robertson says the vineyard will be used for teaching viticulture and oenology, the art of wine making. The vineyard will also be used by Masters and PhD students to carry out research in collaboration with the local community and the wine industry.

"The Fossil Bay Vineyard will offer practical training for students in a commercially-sized vineyard environment. This hands-on experience will help them gain very valuable expertise in many practical aspects of viticulture," says Ms Robertson.

Over the last 20 years, the 2.0 hectare vineyard - divided into 0.6 hectare and 1.4 hectare blocks - has been planted in several clones of Chardonnay vines.

The vineyard has also undergone an intensive maintenance programme to enhance vine health and productivity, and to bring it a step closer to certification in sustainable viticulture.

Researchers from the wine science programme in collaboration with the Marlborough Wine Research Institute and HortResearch received a significant grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology last year to undertake a six-year research project identifying aroma compounds in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines.

Fossil Bay Vineyard is located in Korora Road, Oneroa, next to Cable Bay Vineyard, Fenton and Peninsula Estates.

Members of the public interested in finding out more about The University of Auckland's wine science programme and the Fossil Bay Vineyard will be able to talk to University representatives at the Peninsula Estate on February 5 as part of the Waiheke Wine Festival.


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