Working in partnership with Vineyard Magazine for a developing UK wine industry.

WineGB is the national trade body representing the vine growers and winemakers of Great Britain from the largest producers to small hobbyists.

Our members work together with the organisation to develop strategy, expertise and marketing opportunities for long-term, sustainable success. 

What WineGB is up to: First viticulture apprenticeship launched

What WineGB is up to: 

First viticulture apprenticeship launched

Plumpton College has launched a new viticulture apprenticeship programme that will start this Autumn. The programme, endorsed by WineGB, is seeking UK producers who are interested in taking part in the first pilot group.

The college has developed the government approved Level 3 Crop Technician apprenticeship standard into a new viticulture apprenticeship, which will be delivered on a national basis, and provide excellent coverage of all aspects of practical vineyard management.

Students will learn a variety of skills including canopy management and pruning, key vineyard operations, as well as tractor driving and use of vineyard machinery. The course will also incorporate a range of competency certificates, such as first aid and pesticide application.

The apprenticeship is work-based and requires attendance at Plumpton Wine Division on block placements over the two-year period, during which accommodation will be provided, making the course accessible.

Jeremy Kerswell, principal of Plumpton College commented: “With the UK wine industry going from strength to strength, it is actively seeking staff to establish and manage its vineyards, so the launch of this course is coming at a crucial time for the UK.”

To discuss further please contact, Hamish Dow on 01273 890454 or email 

Sustainable winery water management

The WineGB Environmental Sustainability Working Group, established in January 2019, encourages and supports grape growers and winemakers in producing sustainable wine in the UK, through informing members on sustainability issues, via bi-monthly practical bulletins, as well as developing an accredited sustainability scheme.

The September bulletin focuses on winery water management and provides guidance on how to reduce the use of water in the winery, with practical water saving tips, and a section on how to manage waste water. 

Future bulletins will deal with topics such as crop management, vine nutrition, energy use in wineries, environmental conservation, integrated pest management, greenhouse gas management in wineries, social responsibility & engagement and waste management in wineries. These bulletins are circulated to WineGB members electronically and are available on the sustainability pages of the WineGB website.  

The WineGB Climate Change and Sustainability Conference and launch of the Sustainability Scheme, that was due to be held in November, has been postponed and the target date is now Spring 2020.

Raising our industry profile

Much of the WineGB marketing activity is to raise the industry profile to three target groups: consumers, trade and media. Our key focus now is communicating more with consumers – we want to excite and inform them of our wines and vineyards and encourage sales and tourism. Our website is being redeveloped to be more consumer-friendly and interactive, to include an online map with related links to all our listed member vineyards. 

WineGB has also just appointed a digital media officer to focus exclusively on developing our social media activity and with that create more engagement through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We are communicating with our members for stories, content and conversation and driving some special campaigns and stories online to further inspire and inform consumers. With Christmas just around the corner, look out for more coverage! 

The experts guiding WineGB

To ensure a sustainable and profitable future for the industry, WineGB has a programme of projects designed to deliver on strategic objectives. These projects are driven by the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) which consists of the leaders of ten working groups. These working groups are formed of experienced professionals who volunteer their expertise in order to develop policies, best practice or guidance in areas including regulations, duty, sustainability, training and education, viticulture, winemaking, R&D, exports and wine tourism. WineGB would like to acknowledge the huge amount of valuable work these volunteers contribute to the greater good of our industry. The MAC meets four times each year and the minutes of each meeting are published on the WineGB website along with the current WineGB Project Portfolio. 

Another high yield harvest? 

As harvest is underway and many vineyards are experiencing higher than average yields again in 2019, DEFRA have confirmed that the changes proposed to the maximum yield by WineGB to the PDO and PGI schemes are being accepted. This means that yield limits are raised from 80/100 Hl per Ha to 165 Hl per Ha for both schemes. There is also a more rigorous quality taste test for English and Welsh PDO wines in place.

Supported by partners and patrons 

The WineGB patrons programme enables the organisation to raise funds to support activities that benefit the membership and encourage the industry to develop.  

WineGB welcomes Vineyard Magazine as a patron and looks forward to working together, as both organisation have a mutual interest in supporting and communicating with English and Welsh grape growers and winemakers. Vineyard Magazine will dedicate two pages each month to keep readers informed of the current WineGB activities and events. The Grape Press will continue to be the WineGB members’ magazine and will provide technical content for producers twice a year. For details of WineGB patrons supporting the industry, please go to the WineGB website.

Sparkling Wine Consumer Research Report  

The latest consumer research report ‘Sparkling Wine in the UK Market’ from Wine Intelligence providing a very useful insight into the sparkling wine market is now available. A free extract version containing the management summary and the English sparkling section is available exclusively to WineGB members. The full report is available from Wine Intelligence, with a special price for WineGB members. Details of both the free extract and the discount for the full report can be found on the WineGB website.

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