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Saving Heritage Vine Cultivars: ‘An investment in the future’


On Monday 16th June , the Certificate II in Wine Industry students, under the guidance of Mr Mike Hayes (Viticulturist and Winemaker from Symphony Hill Wines), collected vine stock from many drought tolerant and low vigour rootstock varieties as well as many specific clones of various wine cultivars such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Verdelho, Viognier and Lagrrein from a block of vines established by the Queensland Vine Improvement Association at Henty Vineyard as well as source blocks at Symphony Hill Wines.

Mr Hayes instructed the students on how to take, label, treat and store the cuttings. The students will propagate the cuttings at the Stanthorpe State High School’s College of Agriculture nursery facility using a heat bed as well as bench grafting some of the varietal material on clonal rootstock during the period starting from late August. This will enable students to demonstrate a skill set to gain the competency ‘Undertake Propagation Activities’ and further develop skills that will help them gain their Certificate II in Wine Industry Operations.

The ultimate aim of the project is to further develop ties between the Queensland College of Wine Tourism and Stanthorpe State High School as a leading school in the Gateway School to Wine Tourism program by establishing a vine bank on the Granite Belt consisting of Heritage Vine cultivars and rootstocks that may be accessed by both the Queensland and Australian Wine Industry.