With the English wine industry going from strength to strength, Plumpton College, near Lewes in Sussex, has seen an overall increase of 20% in the numbers of students, with a 40% rise in those starting its BA (Hons) International Wine Business degree.
The further and higher education college has been supporting the global wine industry with a wide range of programmes, from A-level and apprenticeships to university degrees in wine business and production.
A team of ten wine specialists deliver the modules in Plumpton’s purpose-built wine centre, which includes laboratories, a sensory evaluation room, lecture rooms and a research winery.
The specialist college also manages 10 hectares of vineyards and a commercial winery, where students produce award-winning still and sparkling wines, and is also seeking extra staff to establish and manage its vineyards.
Chris Foss, head of the Plumpton wine division, told of his delight at the student boom.
“On top of an outstanding grape harvest in our vineyards, we are delighted to see such good student numbers this year, clearly demonstrating the boom in the English wine industry and Plumpton’s growing worldwide population,” he said.
Student Gabby Riley said she enrolled in the wine business degree in the hope of one day working in the business.
“I have always been interested in the idea of how wine is sold around the world. Studying wine business at Plumpton College will equip me with the right skills and knowledge I need to pursue my career to one day hopefully being an international wine buyer.”
The college has also seen further growth in the number of students enrolling on to its most popular wine production and viticulture & oenology courses.
“We are delighted to see that some of our new students already have substantial industry experience, but the vast majority are new to wine production and are energised to join the UK’s flourishing wine production industry,” Foss concluded.