Winners of Rising Star Awards revealed
1st February 2024
The extraordinary talent in today’s UK wine industry and the stars of its future were celebrated at Vintners’ Hall – as the winners of WineGB’s Rising Star Awards were announced, along with the 2024 Vintners’ UK Wine Apprentice.
In this inaugural year of the WineGB Rising Stars Awards, individuals aged 30 and under working in the different sectors of the UK wine industry were applauded for their commitment, hard work and contribution to its ongoing success.
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. In some categories, the judges also awarded special merit to other of the nominees, to acknowledge their contribution to the industry.
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.
The winners were presented an award by a member of the judging panel and are as follows:
Sales & Marketing (presented Jacob Leadley, Black Chalk)
Oscar Willis – Sales, marketing & communications manager, Yotes Court Vineyard
Phoebe French – Membership engagement manager, Wines of Great Britain
Tourism (presented by Nicola Bates, CEO, WineGB)
Sophie Mounsey – Marketing and tourism manager, Velfrey Vineyard
Viticulture (presented by Sam Linter, Chair, WineGB and Wine Director, Plumpton College)
Ben Brown – Agronomist & viticulture specialist, Agrii
Winemaking (presented by Emma Rice, WineGB Director)
Tom Follows – Cellar hand, Chapel Down
Jean Langedyk – Assistant winemaker, Bolney Wine Estate
Den’e Van Wyk – Assistant winemaker, Simpsons Wine Estate
Sustainability – Viticulture (presented by Anne Jones, SWGB Ambassador)
Rob Poyser – Viticulturist, Vinescapes
Sustainability – Winemaking (presented by Anne Jones, SWGB Ambassador)
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.
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.”