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Inaugural WineGB Rising Stars Awards

The extraordinary talent and future stars of the UK’s wine industry were celebrated at Vintners’ Hall

Young talent working in wine across the UK were celebrated at the first WineGB’s Rising Star Awards on January 31.

Taking place at Vintners’ Hall, the awards applauded individuals aged 30 and under for their commitment, hard work and contribution to the industry’s ongoing success.

Nominations were submitted by peers and employers from across the industry and wider wine trade into categories covering 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.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Jacob Leadley from Black Chalk, WineGB CEO Nicola Bates, WineGB chair Sam Linter, WineGB director Emma Rice and Sustainable Wines of Great Britain Ambassador Anne Jones.

WineGB Rising Star Awards 2024 winners

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

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

Tourism Winner: Sophie Mounsey – Marketing and Tourism Manager, Velfrey Vineyard

Viticulture Winner:   Ben Brown – Agronomist & Viticulture Specialist, Agrii

Winemaking Winner: Tom Follows – Cellar Hand, Chapel Down

Merits:  Jean Langedyk – Assistant Winemaker, Bolney Wine Estate and Den’e Van Wyk – Assistant Winemaker, Simpsons Wine Estate

Sustainability – Viticulture Winner: Rob Poyser – Viticulturist, Vinescapes

Sustainability – Winemaking Winner: Jack Mankin – Winemaker, Ridgeview

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB commented: “We are so proud to see such a rich pool of young talent across our industry and 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.”

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, given to  Louisa Adams of Breaky Bottom Vineyard, 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.

Chair of The Vintners’ Trade Liaison Committee, Ian Harris MBE, who presented the award, added: “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!”