The wine division of Plumpton College has a new vision to be an internationally recognised provider of education and training in viticulture, oenology, and the business of promoting, marketing, and selling wine.
Already undoubtedly the UK centre for excellence in winemaking, Dr Greg Dunn outlined the new vision at an open day in March. Head of plant physiology and viticulture, Dr Dunn outlined Plumpton College wine division’s unique selling points. They included being already nationally recognised, being part of industry networks, cool climate viticulture theory and practice, proximity to ‘old world’ wine regions and to London, which is historically important to the wine trade, and courses delivered in English.
The wine division has 130 higher education students across three courses.
Plumpton College, a further and higher education college in East Sussex, runs courses in a variety of land-based and related subjects, providing a range of full-time and part-time options. Greg Dunn commented: “Our courses combine a large amount of practical experience with theory and our facilities are exceptional – laboratories, winery, experimental winery, tasting rooms, and vineyards.” Concerning training, he explained that the college offers a Vineyard Apprentice Programme (level 3 crop technician standard) and ‘block delivery’ of training at its Rock Lodge Vineyard, which has teaching facilities adjacent to it.
As to new developments at the College, Dr Dunn outlined a national skills development programme, which is delivered regionally; a winery; and a laboratory with high pressure liquid chromotography, dissectors and microscopes. Further investment in the vineyard and winery is planned.