Sarah’s blog #1
Greetings, wine lovers! Welcome to my first Vinescapes blog post!
My name is Sarah Stott and I am thrilled to share my passion for vines and wines with you. As a recent graduate of Plumpton College (U.K.), with a degree in Viticulture & Oenology, I’ve just joined England’s leading Viticulture and Winery consultancy – Vinescapes, as their first graduate trainee and I’ll be blogging about my journey and learning with them over the next two years.
I originally hail from Yorkshire – yes, I know a long way off from any budding wine region! My family are not in the slightest bit involved with the wine industry – aside from having the odd tipple, here and there… perhaps this led me to this excitable thirst.
My background is in hospitality. My first job was at the Holiday Inn as a Christmas temp when I was 16, and for the next decade I developed an international resume in hospitality, working my way up to management level in Michelin starred restaurants and boutique hotels. Fortunately, this industry took me around the world traveling and working in various countries, which I loved.
It was working in New Zealand when I really got the taste for fine wine. A trip to Waiheke Island really worked up my appetite. I worked closely from here with wine for the next few years, where I was able to develop my palate for food and wine pairing. In 2018, when I started the WSET programme, I found myself attentively more interested in wine production and vine growing. After much consideration, I took a leap of faith and made the switch to the wine industry and went to Plumpton College, East Sussex to study a degree in Viticulture & Oenology. On completing Plumpton College, I headed straight to the USA. I was fortunate enough to intern at a winery in the Willamette Valley (Oregon) and then hopped down to the southern hemisphere to the Hemel-en-Aarde valley in South Africa for another vintage. Working with some of the most talented people in the wine industry has taught me endless amounts of vital knowledge from agroecology and working with nature, to vineyard and winery practical skills, right the way through to blind tasting wine and hosting tasting events.
As someone who is developing their passion for wine, it is now a dream come true to be part of a team that specialises in helping vineyards and wineries produce premium quality wine. The Vinescapes graduate trainee programme will provide an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry and gain hands-on experience in all aspects of viticulture, oenology and winery development work.
Through this blog, I aim to share my insights and knowledge about English wine, from the vineyard to the bottle. I will be discussing different grape varieties grown in England, the unique terroirs and microclimates of the English vineyards, and the viticulture and winemaking techniques employed to produce high-quality English wines. I am passionate about sustainability in the wine industry, and I will also be sharing my thoughts on the importance of environmentally friendly winemaking practices. Plus, some of the many exciting things happening in the English wine industry.
In addition to sharing my own experiences, I will also be interviewing experts in the field and featuring guest posts from other professionals. I hope this blog will serve as a platform for learning, discussion, and community-building for wine enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.
I am thrilled to begin my journey in the English wine consultancy world and look forward to sharing my experiences with you. I strongly believe that English wines have enormous potential, and that the industry is only going to grow from strength to strength.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Together, let’s explore the exciting world of English viticulture and winemaking!