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Students in the Year 11 Agriculture class spent Term 1 learning about viticulture and wine making. This was the first time in over a decade that our students have attempted making wine using grapes grown in our own vineyard which is situated in the Senior School. The boys learnt about maintaining the vines and treating for disease.

Over the warm summer months, they also monitored berry ripening (known as veraison) by recording sugar levels in the grapes twice a week and determining the optimal time to harvest. By applying their knowledge of Chemistry and Biology, students balanced the pH of the must then established a fermentation and monitored the yeast driven reaction using a hydrometer.

After the wine was harvested using a basket press, it was settled and racked into a container for cellaring. The final product will be bottled by next year’s Year 11 Agriculture class. Labels for the bottles have already been designed in preparation.

Dr Steven Polyak 
Teacher of Biology – Agricultural Science – Medical Research – University Studies