Upper Yarra Secondary College students join forces with Oakridge Wines to launch 2023 Pinot Noir

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Australia’s leading drinks and hospitality business Endeavour Group has today welcomed the launch of Junction Street Vineyard & Co’s 2023 Vintage Pinot Noir, made from grapes lovingly tended and harvested by students and staff at Upper Yarra Secondary College in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, and produced by Oakridge Wines.

The third harvest from Upper Yarra Secondary College’s vineyard will be available in 25 Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores across Victoria from Monday 27 May while stocks last.

Through its facilitation of the Certificate II in Wine Industry Operations, the school has forged several strong relationships across the wine industry in the Yarra Valley.

Steve Faulkner, viticulturist at the Yarra Valley’s award-winning Oakridge Wines has guided students in the pruning, maintenance and picking of grapes for the latest vintage release, before overseeing its open top fermentation and 11-month maturation in premium French oak, and bottling in March this year.

“The program at Upper Yarra Secondary College is focused on innovation, and really giving local students hands-on experience in the wine industry,” Faulkner said.

“As part of Endeavour Group, we are also incredibly proud to be able to range this year’s vintage in a number of Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores across Victoria. I know there will be many proud students, teachers and parents visiting stores this week to see the Junction Street Vineyard & Co label on the shelves.”

“I’m not aware of another program quite like it in Victoria that leads to bottling for sale to the general public. To see the entire winemaking process, from growing fruit to bottling, and even labelling, is invaluable - and hopefully will be the start of some incredible careers in the wine industry.”

Marcus Cook, a Learning Specialist and VET Teacher at Upper Yarra Secondary College said working with the team at Endeavour Group and Oakridge over the last few years had been an invaluable experience.

“The class is exposed to industry expertise in marketing, label design, winemaking and viticulture. Working with so many experts has broadened our students' understanding of the wine industry and inspired several students to continue this pathway as a career.

“Personally, I am grateful for the guidance of the Oakridge team, through the whole winemaking process - from vine to wine!”

Scott Tully, Principal of Upper Yarra Secondary College said the program was delivering real benefits for students.

“We began this journey more than five years ago as a concept that would lead to our students finding meaningful work in their own community.

“We were attempting to establish opportunities that meant young people could live and work in the Yarra Valley and not be forced to leave to find work. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any expertise and relied on a few wine industry people for guidance.

“Thankfully the team at Endeavour Group reached out with offers of support and have been incredibly generous with their guidance, knowledge and expertise in the industry and our program has excelled and is giving our students some incredible opportunities.”

Every year, Upper Yarra Secondary College holds a photography competition to coincide with harvest. This year the winner was Karl, a Year 9 student and the photo will be used in the point of sale materials for the wine.

The Junction Street Vineyard & Co’s 2023 Pinot Noir will be $25 a bottle at Dan Murphy’s.

Junction Street Vineyard & Co 2023 Pinot Noir is available at the following locations:

BWS Chirnside Park

BWS Yarra Junction

South Morang Dan Murphy’s

Bulleen Dan Murphy’s

Ringwood Dan Murphy’s

Boronia Dan Murphy’s

Chirnside Park Dan Murphy’s

Eltham Dan Murphy’s

Doncaster East Dan Murphy’s

Fishermans Bend Dan Murphy’s

Brighton Dan Murphy’s

Ascot Vale Dan Murphy’s

Hawthorn East Dan Murphy’s

Alphington Dan Murphy’s

Malvern East Dan Murphy’s

Prahran Dan Murphy’s

Richmond Dan Murphy’s

South Melbourne Dan Murphy’s

Kew Dan Murphy’s

Malvern Dan Murphy’s

Camberwell Dan Murphy’s

Brunswick East Dan Murphy’s

Prahran Cellar by Dan Murphy’s

Collingwood Dan Murphy’s

Spotswood Dan Murphy’s

Balwyn Dan Murphy’s