WineGB supports education and training, research and development, for the long term environmental and economic sustainability of the UK wine production industry.


Plumpton College has launched the UK’s first nationwide Viticulture apprenticeship and is seeking UK producers who are interested in taking part in the first pilot group.

The college has developed the government approved new Level 3 Crop Technician apprenticeship standard into a new Viticulture apprenticeship, which will be delivered on a national basis, and provide excellent coverage of all aspects of practical vineyard management.

Endorsed by Wine GB, students will learn a variety of skills including: canopy management and pruning, key vineyard operations as well as tractor driving and use of vineyard machinery. The course will also incorporate a range of competency certificates, such as first aid and pesticide application.

The apprenticeship is work based and would require attendance at Plumpton Wine Division on block placements over the two year period, during which accommodation will be provided making the course nationally accessible.

For those producers who wish to express an interest please contact the College's new Head of the Wine Division, Greg Dunn, [email protected] before the end of September. The first apprenticeship cohort would start in November 2019.

More information can be found in the documents below:

National Viticulture Apprenticeship programme - further details

Employer Guide

Funding Flowchart

Plumpton College launches nationwide viticulture apprenticeship

Plumpton College

Plumpton College in East Sussex is renowned for being the UK’s centre for excellence in wine, providing education, training and research.

Plumpton College has 10 hectares of vineyards producing 40,000 bottles of award-winning still and sparkling wines each year. The college also has a purpose-built Wine Centre which includes a commercial winery, research winery, laboratories and a sensory evaluation room.


Plumpton offers the following degrees:

  • Viticulture and Oenology BSc (Hons)
  • Wine Production Foundation (and Foundation Diploma),
  • Wine Business BA (Hons)
  • Wine Business Foundation

Short courses

Plumpton delivers short courses in grape growing and wine making, taken either intensively in one week, or extensively in 7 sessions over several months. These include:

  • Principles of Winemaking: Intensive 1 week course
  • Principles of Winemaking: 7 Sessions over half a year
  • For more information on the vinegrowing courses:
  • Principles of Vinegrowing: Intensive 1 week course
  • Principles of Vinegrowing: 7 Sessions over half a year

For more information visit the Plumpton College website.


The WineSkills programme is also run by Plumpton College and delivers practical workshops in viticulture and oenology, and monthly masterclasses.

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.”

With a comprehensive schedule of training events and ongoing development of training initiatives, WineSkills is set to play a key role in the future success of the UK wine industry. The programme was originally set up as a training initiative supported by funding from the EU and DEFRA, and run by Plumpton College. Weekly workshops, monthly masterclasses, with professional trainers, often international experts, were delivered across the UK vineyard regions for five years (2010-2015). A mentoring scheme provided expert advice and guidance for winemaking, viticulture, business and marketing and later sustainability to UK wine producers. Members of WineGB are able to access the WineSkills mentor reports in the members' area of the website.

Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust provides globally recognised education and qualifications in wines and spirits for professional and enthusiasts.

For more information about the WSET see:

Wine & Spirit Education Trust

Plumpton College also offer WSET Level 2 and level 3 awards.

Wine and spirits courses at Campden BRI

Training courses cover topics such as:

  • Product recall
  • Wine quality
  • Wine analysis
  • Wine faults

For more information visit Campden BRI's website.


You need certificates of competence to apply Plant Protection Products (PPP’s) with a sprayer. You must undertake training and pass the relevant Pesticide Application (PA) exams.  In the UK the only body recognised for training & testing is the NPTC.

WineGB publish the 'Green Book' each spring listing the plant protection products approved for use on vines in the UK, along with other guidance for its members.

Research & Development

Research and development specific to grapegrowing and winemaking in the UK being carried out by NIAB-EMR (East Malling, Kent), and Plumpton College, East Sussex, in consortium with other research partners across the UK. Click here for more information about Research and Development.