7 sessions over half a year

Course description

The aims of the course are to provide a good knowledge and understanding of viticulture (vine growing) to those who wish to establish a small to medium-size vineyard, enter the wine trade, or have a strong interest in wine.

This seven-day course takes you through the basic principles of vineyard establishment and maintenance. The theory is covered in the morning, while each afternoon practical activity is spent in the nearby College vineyard.


Topics include: 

  • Evaluating and improving vineyard sites;
  • Selecting vine varieties and rootstocks;
  • Winter pruning;
  • Vine propagation and nutrition;
  • Planting and trellising vines,
  • Weed control and sustainable viticulture,
  • Vineyard pest and disease management,
  • Canopy management.

The course ends with a 30-minute multiple-choice test.

The theory sessions for this course will delivered in the mornings at Plumpton College Wine Centre, and the practical session in the afternoons at Plumpton vineyards, which are situated near Scaynes Hill, 8 miles north of Plumpton College.

Dates & Location:

The course normally runs on seven Mondays from November until June/July 

The principles of vine growing was a hugely worthwhile course for me to do.

When completing my WSET Diploma I gained a lot of theoretical knowledge of vinfication and viticulture. I wanted to increase my practical knowledge of both of these, this led to working a vintage in Australia to help with my winemaking. However, rather than spend a year working in a vineyard I did the next best thing and saved a lot of time by taking the Plumpton course.

The course is a good split of theory and practical, the theory revised and supplemented what I learnt at Diploma but the practical side was all new to me and hugely valuable. There is no way other way to see how theory fits into practicality without actually stepping into the vineyard! It has been incredibly beneficial in my current study in year one MW. The vast majority of students however are doing the course in order to run their own vineyard and I really think this is a great way of preparing people to do this.

I wouldn’t hesitate recommending this course to anyone interested in learning more about growing grapes.

Mike Best

WSET Business Development Manager


  • Studying at Plumpton gives you the chance to enjoy time at the heart of the South East of England’s wine production industry.
  • We’ve got 10 hectares of vineyards producing 40,000 bottles of award-winning still and sparkling wines each year at Plumpton.
  • We’ve also got a purpose-built Plumpton Wine Centre which includes a commercial winery, research winery, laboratories and a sensory evaluation room for you to experience.
  • Combined with our team of international expert lecturers, you’ll certainly gain an excellent all-round experience at Plumpton.

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