Vintage with a difference
Heralded as one of the most famous wine regions in the world, it was almost inevitable that wine studies would be introduced in 1993 at Faith Lutheran College, Tanunda.
Surrounded by the rolling Barossa hills, each vintage Faith’s Year 10 Agriculture students experience life as a winemaker and viticulturalist, working in neighbouring vineyards and making wine in the College’s Mengler View Winery.
Mengler View Wines truly is: Wine Education from the Heart of the Barossa
Guided by Coordinator-come-Chief Winemaker, Bob Mitchell and supported by expert advice from local vignerons, winemakers, and valued laboratory staff, Bob estimates over 2,000 students have turned their hands to winemaking and viticulture in the College’s facility. Together with donated fruit and subsidised bottling at Vinpac, Faith’s Mengler View wine is a true expression of community collaboration.
With an emphasis on exposing students to different winemaking techniques, the winemaking program at Faith has become a launchpad to inspire future winemakers. The curriculum also allows students to explore the relevance of viticulture and gain a comprehensive understanding of an industry integral to the Barossa community.
Over the harvest season, up to 15 tonnes of fruit is processed each year including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Alicante Bouchet, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro and Shiraz.
Trading school uniforms for hi-vis shirts, students can be found out in the vineyard or carefully navigating winery equipment such as presses, pumps and hoses. It is a team effort and each year over 40 Year 10 students work together to produce the Mengler View vintage using a blend of estate-grown fruit and fruit donated by families across the Barossa Region.
By nature of the winery’s College location, there are additional considerations for the teachers and winemaking team. ‘One of the complexities of running a winery during vintage in a school environment is the nature of a very structured class timetable. Students have set times dedicated to this subject, but the fruit is ready when the fruit is ready. This makes the winemaking process in a school environment very different from a business operation.’
Once bottled the wines are labelled, using designs created by Year 11 Graphic Design students.
The wines are stored in a temperature-controlled facility and can be purchased by the public direct from the College.
A selection of Mengler View wines is also available through local venues such as the Tanunda Clubhouse.