18 January 2017
Plumpton College, the UK’s centre of excellence in wine education, is launching its WineSkills extension programme to support the rapidly growing English and Welsh wine industry.
The hallmarks of a successful wine industry are well-located vineyards, managed by skilled viticulturists, whose grapes are transformed into great wine by talented winemakers. Plumpton College has long provided our nation’s wineries with graduate winemakers and grapegrowers, but, with the WineSkills extension programme, it will ensure that all staff involved in producing wine have access to high-quality training and the latest research.
The WineSkills extension programme will deliver practical workshops in viticulture and oenology, and monthly masterclasses. These will be delivered by Plumpton College staff, UK consultants, such as Duncan McNeill and Emma Rice, and internationally renowned figures such as Richard Smart, Glen Creasy and Mike Trought.
The first workshop was held on 17th Jan, with 21 commercial growers visiting the classroom and vineyards of Plumpton College to develop their vine pruning skills. Viticulture consultant and WineSkills tutor Duncan McNeill comments
Not everybody is able to take time out for full-time study, and WineSkills is a very good solution to the challenge of communicating the vital ‘foundation’ knowledge and skills to our industry.
United Kingdom Vineyards association Chief Executive Barry Lewis said that
I am excited to see the return of WineSkills, which has done so much to up-skill our growing industry.
With a comprehensive schedule of training events proposed for 2017 and ongoing development of training initiatives, WineSkills looks set to play a key role in the future success of the UK wine industry.
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.