The 2019 winner of the Vine-Works Vinegrower of the Year award, which is organised in conjunction with Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), has been announced.

Currently studying at Plumpton College, Sam Middleton impressed the panel of judges and will now be presented with a generous £2,000 bursary, donated by Vine-Works, which will enable him to carry out a study tour to an overseas wine producing region to bring back new ideas and skills useful to UK growers.

 “I’m delighted to be awarded the WineGB and Vine-Works Vinegrower of the Year award for 2019,” said winner Sam Middleton. “This fantastic award will give me the opportunity to visit a number of vineyards across Europe to learn first-hand how growers are using cutting-edge research to tackle Botrytis. It will enable me to develop my viticultural knowledge in this area, and to share what I learn with interested colleagues.”

The independent judges, members of the WineGB Viticulture committee, agreed unanimously that his proposal, which will study practical ways of controlling Botrytis in the vineyard, will be of great benefit to UK wine growers.

“On behalf of the whole team at Vine-Works, Darcy and I would like to congratulate Sam on winning the 2019 award,” said James Dodson at vineyard consultancy firm Vine-Works. “We would like to wish him the best of luck and are already looking forward to reading his final report.” 

Sam will present his findings at the WineGB Viticulture Technical Conference in November 2020 and will also publish an article in the WineGB Grape Press.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Sam has been selected for this award,” said Chris Foss, head of Plumpton College’s wine division. “He’s a first class student, who will not only gain a great deal from the experience, but also bring back some invaluable insights into Botrytis for the benefit of our industry.”