WineGB held the inaugural Rising Star Awards at the Vintners’ Hall in London. The awards recognised and commended those aged 30 and under working in the different sectors of the UK wine industry.

A winner from each category was chosen by a panel of industry experts from nominations submitted by peers and employers from across the industry and wider wine trade. The categories covered viticulture, winemaking, business/marketing and tourism. Sustainability was also highlighted, with additional awards given to individuals in the viticulture and winemaking categories that had shown particular commitment to sustainable practices.

Sales and marketing

Winner: Oscar Willis
Sales, Marketing & Communications Manager, Yotes Court Vineyard

Merit: Phoebe French
Membership Engagement Manager, Wines of Great Britain


Winner: Sophie Mounsey
Marketing and Tourism Manager, Velfrey Vineyard


Winner: Ben Brown
Agronomist & Viticulture Specialist, Agrii


Winner: Tom Follows
Cellar Hand, Chapel Down

Merit: Jean Langedyk
Assistant Winemaker, Bolney Wine Estate

Merit: Den’e Van Wyk
Assistant Winemaker, Simpsons Wine Estate

Sustainability – viticulture

Winner: Rob Poyser
Viticulturist, Vinescapes

Sustainability – winemaking

Winner: Jack Mankin
Winemaker, Ridgeview

The evening also saw the announcement of The Vintners’ UK Wine Apprentice Award, given by The Vintners’ Company to support an aspiring individual working in a UK winery. The award provides funding to study wine production at Plumpton College in Sussex over a two-year period, plus the opportunity to study for a WSET qualification at an appropriate level. The winner was Louisa Adams of Breaky Bottom Vineyard.

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB commented: “We are so proud to see such a rich pool of young talent across our industry, making such a significant contribution. These awards allow us to publicly acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our deserved winners and fantastic nominees – they are our leaders of the future. We also want to continue to inspire many others to discover the wide range of career opportunities in this exciting industry.

“I’d like to thank the Vintners’ Company for their great support by giving us this special event at Vintners’ Hall and of course for the generous UK Wine Apprentice Award which will set this year’s talented winner, Louisa, on her way to an exciting career in the UK wine industry.”

Ian Harris MBE said: “The Vintners’ Company is very proud to support the UK wine industry and its ongoing growth. It’s fantastic to celebrate its future stars. Our hearty congratulations to Louisa in winning The Vintners’ UK Wine Apprentice Award and we wish her well with her studies at Plumpton College. We look forward to following her career!”