Nyetimber, the preeminent English sparkling winemaker, recently hosted its first educational days at its West Sussex estate for students at Plumpton College and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Wine Diploma students from the WSET London School and Viticulture, Oenology and Wine Business students from Plumpton attended the estate on three days in May. This follows the formal work experience opportunities provided by Nyetimber to Plumpton students over the last two years.
According to industry group WineGB, around 5,000 people work in the wine production industry and this is expected to increase to 30,000 by 2040. 8.7 million bottles of English sparkling wine were produced in 2020 and total global sales of English and Welsh wine are expected to hit 40 million bottles with a forecast retail value of over £1 billion by 2040.
The educational days comprised an introduction to Nyetimber by a Brand Ambassador and a tour of the estate’s Manor Vineyard and Pressing Centre. Students then had a tasting of Nyetimber’s core range (Classic Cuvee MV, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Rosé MV and Cuvee Chérie MV). After a paired lunch, Barnaby Richardson (Head of UK Sales at Nyetimber) and Ben Kantsler (Head of Viticulture at Nyetimber) gave presentations on their respective departments. Finally, Brad Greatrix (Senior Winemaker at Nyetimber) led a comparative tasting of 37.5cl, 75cl and 150cl bottles of Classic Cuvee MV.
The WSET provides globally recognised education and qualifications in wines and spirits, for professionals and enthusiasts. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in London, the WSET is generally regarded as one of the world’s leading providers of wine education.
Plumpton College is a further and higher education college based in Plumpton, East Sussex, with courses in a variety of land-based and related subjects including Viticulture and Oenology. Its degrees are all validated by the Royal Agricultural University and its Wine Division is especially highly regarded.
Eric Heerema, CEO and Owner of Nyetimber, said: “We are delighted to open our doors to such a large number of enthusiastic students who will be the winemakers and industry champions of tomorrow. We hope by giving the students exposure to our activities they will gain a good understanding of how we operate, what it takes to consistently make our award-winning wine and the lengths we go to maintain our reputation as one of the world’s finest sparkling wine producers.”
Feedback from the students who attended:
It gave a great insight into how high spec technology can tie in with traditional styles of winemaking without losing scope of what makes excellent wine. – Conor Milne (MSc Viticulture and Oenology, Plumpton)
“Nyetimber is an extraordinary and very impressive operation. The owner’s willingness to aim for the best in everything, with such a long view on returns on his investment, is quite something.” – Jonathan Gibbs (WSET Diploma student)
It was evident that doing the simple things well, with dynamism and class, can have extraordinary outcomes that inspire others. – Joseph Mussell (1st year BA International Wine Business, Plumpton)