Vineyard and vines growing

Training and Education

WineGB supports education and training, research and development, for the long term environmental and economic sustainability of the UK wine production industry. Research and development specific to grapegrowing and winemaking in the UK being carried out by NIAB-EMR (East Malling, Kent), and Plumpton College, East Sussex, in consortium with other research partners across the UK. Click here for more information about Research and Development.

WineSkills training

wineskills-logo Plumpton College has re launched the WineSkills programme to support training. The WineSkills extension programme will deliver practical workshops in viticulture and oenology, and monthly masterclasses. The first workshop in this series was held on 17th Jan 2017, with 21 commercial UK growers visiting the classroom and vineyards of Plumpton College to develop their vine pruning skills. Viticulture consultant and WineSkills tutor Duncan McNeill comments “Not everybody is able to take time out for full-time study, and WineSkills is a very good solution to the challenge of communicating the vital ‘foundation’ knowledge and skills to our industry.”   "Excited to see the return of WineSkills, which has done so much to up-skill our growing industry." Said Barry Lewis. 

 wine-skills-trainingWith a comprehensive schedule of training events proposed for  ongoing development of training initiatives, WineSkills looks set to play a key role in the future success of the UK wine industry.

For a schedule of training events  please see the Plumpton College website for information and booking at

(NB. WineGB members have a discounted rate)


Plumpton College, East Sussex, UK

Plumpton College is renowned for being the UK’s centre for excellence in wine, providing education, training and research.
Plumpton College has 10 hectares of vineyards producing 40,000 bottles of award-winning still and sparkling wines each year. The college also has a purpose-built Wine Centre which includes a commercial winery, research winery, laboratories and a sensory evaluation room.

University full and part time courses

Plumpton offers the following degrees:
Viticulture and Oenology BSc (Hons) Wine Production Foundation (and Foundation Diploma), Wine Business BA (Hons) and Wine Business Foundation

Short courses

Plumpton delivers short courses in grape growing and wine making, taken either intensively in one week, or extensively in 7 sessions over several months.

For more information on the winemaking courses:

For more information on the vinegrowing courses:


Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)

The WSET provides globally recognised education and qualifications in wines and spirits for professional and enthusiasts. Plumpton College offer WSET Level 2 and level 3 awards: For more information about the WSET see:

Pesticide application

UK spray operators

UK spray operators now require certificates of competence to apply Plant Protection Products (PPP’s). Legislation places a mandatory obligation on spray operators to have undertaken training and passed the relevant Pesticide Application (PA) exams. In the UK the only body recognised for training & testing is the NPTC. (WineGB Members can see section on “Application” in the Green Book). For spray operators born from 1965 onwards this has been mandatory since the mid 1980’s (unless the spray operator was undergoing supervised training). The course will have covered a Foundation Module for Pesticide Application (PA1), followed within a specified timeframe, by another PA module. This could be any or all from PA6 for knapsacks, PA3 for tractor mounted or trailed Air-Assisted sprayers or PA2 for tractor mounted or trailed herbicide applicators, dependant on the equipment the spray operator typical uses. Some spray operators, particularly contractors, born before 1965 voluntarily undertook PA training and testing as this has been a requirement of farm assurance schemes for many years. However for spray operators born pre-1965 who only applied PPP’s to their own or their employers crops or land there was an exemption, known as “Grandfather rights”, based on the assumption that the spray operator had acquired a high degree of technical ability and experience from the years spent using the equipment. This exemption ceased in 2015 so spray operators who have not passed the relevant NPTC certificate of competence Pesticide Application (PA) exams must have attained from NPTC the Level 2 award in the “Safe Use of Pesticides” (referred to as PA1b). The “Safe Use of Pesticides” award only permits the holder to apply PPP’s to crops or land which is owned by them or their employer. For more information visit UKVA pesticides.

Where to find training and useful links

NPTC: City & Guilds Land Based Services offer a wide choice of Certificate of Competence qualifications in the land based sector: Details of the qualifications scheme can be found here: To find your nearest training centre go to: Also the following centres offer PA training

Plumpton College The Royal Agricultural University East Malling