Hattingley Valley Wines partners the Worshipful Company of Vintners to create the UK’s first Winemaking Apprenticeship

England’s wine industry has exploded over the last few years and to encourage young people to get involved in this exciting and dynamic industry, Hattingley Valley Wines has teamed up with The Worshipful Company of Vintners to offer a winemaking apprenticeship.

Simon Robinson, Chairman of Hattingley Valley explains the rationale behind this initiative: “This May England will host the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) for the first time. As the industry growth sees no sign of abating, it is inevitable that there is a shortage of skilled workers in the UK’s vineyards and wineries so more full-time staff are required. We are very excited to be collaborating with The Vintners’ Company to give this opportunity to either a youngster starting out or a more mature person wishing to change careers.”

The position is full time available to commence in the next few weeks and is expected to extend for two years. The successful applicant will attend education courses in vinegrowing and winemaking at Plumpton College, England’s centre of learning for wine; the courses will be sponsored by The Vintners’ Company. The Apprenticeship Programme is also supported by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and distributor, Liberty Wines, which will provide additional instruction giving the successful candidate a wider appreciation for the world of wine. Commenting on the new partnership Simon Leschallas, Master of The Vintners’ Company says, “This is a first for the burgeoning UK wine industry but also for the 650 year old Worshipful Company of Vintners. We are absolutely delighted to be part of this initiative that joins together some of the very best organisations in the domestic wine industry to offer an unheralded apprenticeship opportunity.”
The Apprenticeship Programme will predominantly involve on-the-job training working alongside the award-winning winery team. Hattingley Valley’s head winemaker, Emma Rice, won the 2014 UKVA Winemaker of the Year. Also in 2014, Hattingley Valley won the prestigious title of World Champion for the 2011 Rosé in the Vintage Rosé category at The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. Last summer Hattingley Valley’s 2011 Kings Cuvée scored the highest overall mark in an English Sparkling Wine review published in Decanter magazine.

The role will encompass instruction in operating all of the key machinery used in a sparkling wine winery: presses, riddling equipment, disgorging kit, labelling machines, pumps, filters and heat exchangers. A key element of the trainee position will involve tasting and blending the young wines alongside the winemakers to make Hattingley Valley’s own wines and those of its client vineyards.

Emma Rice, Hattingley Valley’s head winemaker, explains the implications of the new role, “Once this programme is completed, the apprentice should be very employable in wineries around the world as well as within England and Wales. In fact, this could be an opportunity to work and travel in the long-run, or the skills learnt could transfer to the wider wine trade”

The Apprentice Programme is a brand new position for Hattingley Valley and the first of its kind not only in Hampshire but in the UK.

23/06/2016 – The Apprentice Programme has now been filled and we look forward to announcing more details shortly.

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For further information please contact Emma Rice at Hattingley Valley Wines Limited.
E: emma.rice@hattingleyvalley.co.uk
T: +44 (0) 1256 389188


Notes to editors:

Hattingley Valley’s Apprenticeship Programme is not associated with any of the Government’s apprenticeship schemes.

Hattingley Valley Wines Limited
Simon Robinson established Hattingley Valley in 2008. Following in depth feasibility studies, the first 28 acre south facing site was planted in May of that year. Alongside Emma Rice, founder of Custom Crush, a wine analysis laboratory and wine making consultancy, they planned the modern, eco-friendly winery in Wield that was completed in 2010. It uses the latest technology and equipment from continental Europe, has sophisticated waste disposal facilities and was the first UK winery to adopt solar power.

The wine making team is made up of Emma Rice and Jacob Leadley, both of whom trained at Plumpton, Will Perkins who is currently studying there, and James Byrnes from New Zealand. The vineyard team is headed up by Jim Bowerman and Romain Henrion, and assisted by James Matyear.

Since launching its first release in August 2013, Hattingley Valley has been recognised in competitions across the globe and developed into one of the most respected producers and leading contract manufacturers of English sparkling wines in the country.

The Vintners’ Company
The Vintners’ Company was granted its first Charter in 1363 and is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London.

With its origins steeped in the history of the City of London, and the import, regulation and sale of wine, the Company continues to maintain strong links with the UK Wine Trade, with Vintners’ Hall known as the “spiritual home of the wine trade”. With its trade, social, charitable and educational interests, the Company continues to play an important role in the 21st century.

Liberty Wines:
Liberty Wines is a leading quality wine company that imports and distributes premium wines from 18 countries and works with over 290 producers, including five English wine producers. Its success as a supplier to the UK and Ireland’s on and off trade is recognised throughout the industry as it has been awarded IWC On-Trade Supplier of the Year seven years running and the specially-created Trade Merchant of the Year in 2014. Keen supporters of education in the industry, Liberty Wines created their own Wine Apprenticeship scheme in 2007 and launched The Liberty Wines Academy in 2015, which runs alongside their programme of WSET courses.