7 sessions over half a year

Course description

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

During this course, vine growing theory is introduced in the morning classroom sessions, then put into practice during the afternoon sessions in the nearby College vineyard.  

This seven-day course follows the vine growing calendar and allows a good understanding of vineyard activities over an 8 month period. 


Topics include: 

  • Evaluating and improving vineyard sites;
  • Select vine varieties and carry out winter pruning;
  • Propagate vines and manage their nutrition;
  • Plant and trellis vines;
  • Apply pesticides and manage wild plants in the vineyard;
  • Manage vineyard pests;
  • Manage vineyard canopies

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 Rock Lodge vineyards, which are situated near Scaynes Hill, 8 miles north of Plumpton College.

Dates & Location:

This course is now full for this year. 

Please contact us to be added to the mailing list for future course dates.



7 weeks over half a year.



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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