WineGB has announced their inaugural WineGB Rising Stars Awards as well as the return of the Vintners’ UK Wine Apprentice Award, taking place at Vintners’ Hall on Wednesday 31 January.

There is nothing like recognition to motivate and inspire future generations, and WineGB areasking you to nominate members of your team that demonstrate unwavering dedication, a commitment to improvement, and an exemplary work ethic, combined with impressive expertise in their field. A “Rising Star” who turns up, rolls up their sleeves and makes things happen, even when the going gets tough.

Next year also sees the return  of the Vintners’ UK Wine Apprentice Award – the purpose of which is to enable an aspiring winemaker in a UK winery to learn more about winemaking. The winner will have the opportunity to undertake the Principles of Wine Growing and the Principles of Winemaking courses at Plumpton College in Sussex over a two-year period. They will also be given the opportunity to study for a WSET qualification at an appropriate level. The award, funded by The Vintners’ Company, has a total value of £3,000 and the education available to the winner can be flexible and tailored to the needs of the individual.

Whether nominating someone for a Rising Star award, or applying for the Apprentice Award, all applicants should be under the age of 30, and be ready to commit to a long-term career in the wine industry.

The categories for the Rising Star awards are:

Viticulture – This one is dedicated to the proficient pruners, the soil scientists, the canopy controllers and the botrytis banishers. We are looking for those enthusiastic next-generation leaders who bring symbiotic balance to your vines and your business. Never without their trusty pair of snippers, they will fight frost, disease, and drought to protect your vineyard.

WineGB wants to hear about all their achievements and ambitions, and how this individual has had a positive impact on your vineyard management.

Winemaking – This category should be self-explanatory! WineGB is looking for the boundary pushers and innovators. The fermentation fanatics, the tirage titans, the malo medics, tannin taskmasters, and the barrel bewitchers. Applicants for this category will know their Chardonnay clone 76 from their 809, their Coquard from their Willmes, and their DIAMs from their VINCs.

Here is our opportunity to put forward a candidate that is breaking the mould and creating stratospheric new blends that will catapult our industry into new and unchartered territory.

Sustainability – Not all eco-warriors wear capes, but perhaps they should! This category is seeking the guiding light in sustainable business practices – whether in the vineyard, winery, or in the office, this person has green coursing through their veins.

This is your opportunity to highlight workplace initiatives, company targets, or carbon-cutting practices that this person has developed to help you achieve your sustainability goals.

Export – Skål! Prost! Kanpai! It’s not just another stamp in the passport, this person is passionate about bringing English and Welsh wines to the international stage. Breaking into new markets is no mean feat, and WineGB is looking for the individuals who have knocked on doors, broken down trade barriers, endured 180 hour days at trade shows – all in the name of seeing British wines on the global stage.

A true ambassador in international trade relations, education and growth.

Tourism – As our industry expands, we are diversifying, creating award-winning visitor experiences for the would-be wine traveller. Contenders for this category might work in your shop, conduct wine tasting and tours, manage your on-site accommodation, wait tables in your café or run the pass in your restaurant.

Do you have a cellar door champion in your ranks? Have you got a tour guide that knows just how to put your guests at ease? WineGBwants to know who has helped put your vineyard on the map.

Sales and Marketing – There’s more to marketing than the seven P’s – product, pricing, place, people, packaging, process and promotion and many of you, as small businesses, will have a combined sales and marketing function. WineGB  wants to celebrate your social media stars, website wizards and PR pros. Your successful salespeople and brilliant brand ambassadors that go that extra mile to get you a new listing or another customer.

This is your opportunity to shine a light on a staff member that has increased website traffic and/or boosted sales, whether by creative or commercial means, or both!

To nominate your rising star, or apply for the Vintners’ UK Wine Apprentice Award, please visit the WineGB website. The winners will be announced at a special dinner,