Plumpton College Wine Division benefits from having a talented staff team, some of whom have worked extensively in the Wine Industry in a range of areas such as wine research, global wine sales and marketing and vineyard management.
With their combined experience, passion and knowledge, the Plumpton Wine Division can certainly position themselves as one of the best wine training colleges in the world, with all students benefitting from being taught in state-of-the-art facilities.
With industry leading researchers who regularly contribute their findings within the industry, you can be certain that you will learn all the essential skills during your time at Plumpton, preparing you to find employment in this diverse and dynamic sector.
Head of Plumpton Wine Division
Dr Gregory Dunn is the head of the wine division at Plumpton College, the only facility in the UK that trains oenologists and viticulturists at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Greg completed his PhD in the Botany Department at the University of Melbourne in the 1990s, after which he undertook research in forest hydrology and native forest silviculture in Victoria and sub-tropical Queensland, Australia.
For the last two decades Greg has acted in a range of positions in research, education and training in the Australian wine industry, including for DPI Victoria, the University of Melbourne and the National Grape and Wine Industry Centre in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Greg is currently deputy editor for the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.
PhDThe University of Melbourne (1991)
BSc (Hons)The University of Melbourne (1985)
Diploma of Business (Frontline Management) (2004)
Dr Gregory Mark Dunn has had multiple publications in journals, books and conference proceedings. See them all here.
"Our courses are designed to springbroard you into a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers with so many opportunities at your fingertips."
Programme Manager BSc Wine Production
Dr Akshay Baboo is a winemaker, rootstock specialist, lecturer of oenlogy, and programme manager of the bachelors of science (honours) course in viticulture and oenology at Plumpton College.
Between 2004 – 2010 he gained experience working as a Winemaker for some of India’s largest wine producers.
After receiving the prestigious Raman-Charpak fellowship in 2011, he decided to complete his Masters of Science in the École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie – Montpellier (Montpellier SupAgro), in viticulture and oenology. This is where he first got interested in Rootstocks. During his time there, he also obtained the National Diploma of Oenology (DNO) from the Université de Bordeaux. Subsequently, he obtained his doctorate from the University of Turin.
Dr Baboo has since consulted for some of the world’s leading wine producers in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Swizerland and India. His last assignment saw him working for one of India’s largest wine producers, where he was responsible for the viticulture spanning over 3500 hectares, and for winemaking, where he oversaw production of over 10 million cases of wine across 7 wineries.
Besides English he is fluent in French, Occitan, Italian, and six other Indian languages. His current research focus is in wine chemistry, wine ageing, and rootstock-site compatibility.
BSc, MSc (ENSAM), DNO, Ph.D. (Torino)
Baboo A.S., Köhr, C. K., et. al. L’influence de la porte-greffe sur le rendement, la santé et maturité des raisins, 2014, INRA
Baboo A. S., Influenza dei portinnesti sulla produzione di metaboliti secondari nelle uve rosse, 2015, Archivio delle tesi di dottorato, Università di Torino.
Programme Manager MSc Viticulture & Oenology & Researcher Wine Culture & Perception
Dr. Heber Rodrigues obtained a Ph.D. in Food, Sensory and Consumer Sciences at the Université de Bourgone, in the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation, France, where he studied for his Ph.D. thesis on the decryption of the ill-defined sensory descriptor of the minerality in wines.
Heber Rodrigues is also an Agronomist Engineer, M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology and was, in the past, visiting researcher at different Universities and Centres of Research such as the University of Campinas (Brazil), the Universidad de La Republica (Uruguay), Research Centre of Vine and Wine related science (Spain) and the National Institute for Agronomic Research (France).
He is an Editorial Board Member of the journal Food Research International. Dr. Rodrigues research focuses on the field of wine, perception and consumer psychology. He is extremely interested in the impact of culture on consumers’ cerebral representation and perception towards food/beverage objects. Thus, his current research addresses ill-defined wine sensory lexicons such as minerality and elegance as well as the impact of different languages on wine descriptions.
He has also a great scientific interest in the research about the principles of wine and food pairing. Currently, he has international collaborative projects with Centres of Research on diverse countries, namely Switzerland, Greece, New Zealand, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Chile, Cyprus, France, Spain, Argentina, and Brazil. Recently, along with his colleagues from Switzerland, Dr. Heber Rodrigues worked on the development of sensory strategies to achieve emergent wine markets, such as the Asian wine market. During the ProWein World Wine Trade Fair, both in Germany and Hong Kong, they applied a big sensory experiment covering participants from more than 40 countries. This scientifically conditioned experiment in a world fair was considered pioneer by the scientific community.
Ph.D. on Food, Sensory and Consumer Sciences
Dr Heber Rodrigues has had multiple publications in journals, books and conference proceedings. See them all here.
Programme Manager BA International Wine Business
Paul Harley, Course Leader for the FdA Wine Business and BA (Hons) International Wine Business degrees joined the wine industry in 2001 working in both London and South-East retail trade. He is a proud holder of the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits and was awarded the WSET Champagne Scholarship in 2006 for outstanding academic performance.
Paul joined Plumpton College in 2007 as Wine Sales Manager and developed a wide-ranging network of trade and retail partners for the College’s estate-produced wines.
In 2012 he became a full-time lecturer and proceeded to write and launch a number of new modules into the wine business curriculum, with support from key industry stakeholders, including subjects such as wine tourism, strategic management in the wine trade, fine wine, consumer behaviour and English wine. Paul has also been a Teaching Practitioner at Plumpton, helping new instructors and lecturers settling into their teaching roles across the college. Alongside this Paul has contributed to a book on English Wine that is due to be published soon and regularly judges for the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
"Studying wine business at Plumpton will provide you with a contemporary knowledge and understanding of the exciting and ever-changing global wine trade."
Plumpton Vineyard Instructor
Tom Newham has been the Vineyard Instructor at the Plumpton College Wine Division since harvest 2016. Having originally trained as a boatbuilder and yacht instructor, his viticulture career began alongside the sailing work in the south of France during the 1990’s. After working for several years for various small organic producers in France.
In the early 2000's, Tom decided to return to the UK to study the Viticulture and Oenology BSc at Plumpton College, and since obtaining his qualification, Tom has been involved in the vineyard establishment stage, all the way through to working with mature vines, and winemaking practices at various English vineyards including Stopham Estate, Albourne Estate and Davenport vineyards. In 2012 Tom also set up and ran a small independent wine shop, which is still trading, now under new ownership.
Ph.D. on Food, Sensory and Consumer Sciences
Viticulture Apprenticeship Programme Leader
WineSkills Programme Manager
Growing up on an organic farm in Wales and frequent visits to family in Franconia, Germany, has meant that the food & wine culture is very much part of Dona’s DNA. Dona has a particular interest in food production systems and spent many years as the Senior Certification Officer for the Soil Association where she managed more than 250 organic farm licences in the UK and internationally.
In addition, Dona has also worked as a vineyard operative across Europe including; Champagne, France, Baden-Baden and Würzburg, Germany, as well as pursuing a winemaking & oenology internship at A Mano Winery, Puglia, and more closely to home as a cellar hand for Wiston Estate Winery. Dona also spent time in wine retail sales with a particular expertise in Spanish wine buying.
With a BSc in Viticulture & Oenology further studies have included plant pathology at the University of Florence and WSET certifications. Today Dona also sits on the WineGB SE committee, the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain committee and the WineGB Training and Education subcommittee.
BSc in Viticulture & Oenology further studies have included plant pathology at the University of Florence and WSET certifications
Pumpton Wine Division Laboratory Manager
James teaches the laboratory-based elements on the BSc Viticulture and Oenology programme. This includes both chemical and microbiological analysis, as well as other key subject areas. He is central to ongoing research within the wine division,supporting and supervising students in all areas of active work.
Having graduated with a degree in Microbiology at the University of Bristol in 2007, James then went on to complete an MSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Brighton in 2014.
Research projects have included cloning and expression of bacterial adhesins , discovery of novel antimicrobial substances and enzyme based synthetic peptides for the prevention of biofilm formation. In 2021 he will begin his PhD.
Degree in Microbiology at the University of Bristol in 2007
MSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Brighton in 2014
"Chemistry and microbiological processes are the foundations of wine science. Good knowledge of these subject areas is crucial to truly understanding wine".
Winemaker and Winery Instructor at Plumpton College
Sarah Midgley heads up the winemaking at Plumpton College. Alongside teaching winemaking, she is responsible for the commercial side of the Plumpton Wine Estate.
Sarah studied her first degree in Biochemistry at Manchester University, and then took a graduate diploma in Oenology and Viticulture at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand
When Sarah returned to the UK in 2010, she was recruited as assistant winemaker at Camel Valley. She has also gained extensive experience working vintages in wineries around the world, particularly in Australia, New Zealand and California.
Sarah’s passion for science, art and food are reflected in her approach to teaching and making award-winning still and sparkling wines.
Sarah certainly makes the winery your second home when instructing you in all the practical oenological elements of your course.
Plumpton College is one of the only institutes in the world to give students the opportunity to work in a commercial winery whilst completing their wine studies.
BSc in Biochemistry University of Manchester
Graduate Diploma in Viticulture & Oenology at Lincoln University, New Zealand.
BA International Wine Business Lecturer
After working as a professional support lawyer for many years, Tim decided to follow a major career change in 2014 when he embarked on the Wine Business degree at Plumpton College.
During his time at Plumpton he also completed WSET Level 4.
Since graduating, Tim has worked in various wine education roles, including a full time role with WSET, teaching the Level 4 Diploma course and developing study and teaching materials.
In 2019, Tim joined the Wine Division team at Plumpton College and brings his passion and impressive knowledge of wines of the world to his lectures.
Tim is a member of the WineGB Education and Training Working Group.
BA (Hons) Modern and Medieval Languages
Post Graduate Diploma (Legal Practice)
WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits
BA Wine Business (top student)