The United Kingdom is home to one of the most vibrant production industries. There are numerous family owned vineyards and cellars throughout the country. Most wine production companies in the British Isles belong to The Society of Vintners. The producers came together so that they could seek more lucrative markets for their produce. The society helps its members to ship their products to overseas markets in France Spain, California, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Brief History of the Society of Vintners
The society originated from the Allied Wine Buyers Consortium and the Nottingham Wine Buying Group. During the 1970’s five wine merchants from Nottingham met and decided to start the Nottingham Wine Buying Group. They joined forces so that they could have a competitive edge in the wine industry. The organization’s first chairman was John Walton. He held the position for over 20 years.
The Allied Wine Buyers Consortium had earlier been formed in the 1960’s. Its membership was mainly drawn from the southern part of England and in the Midlands. To increase their visibility in the market, they approached Nottingham Wine Buying Group. The two organizations decided to combine their strength in shipping and supplies to form the National Wine Buying Group. The organization has grown in leaps and bounds and is currently the umbrella body of 25 wine production firms. The Society of Vintners has gained popularity due to its dedication towards quality.
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Becoming a Vintner in the United Kingdom
The role of UK vintners is to produce wine in collaboration with other professionals such as viticulturists. It is vintners who make decisions pertaining to harvesting, pressing, crushing, maturing, and fermenting of grapes. Due to the long working hours involved, one has to be physically fit to become a UK vintner. Generally, these professionals learn about the wine making process on the job. Others learn it via viticulture, enology, and grape cultivation programs that are offered by various institutions.
Although most UK vintners embark on their careers after undergoing training, most learn as they work. More often than less, these professionals get employed while working at vineyards in the summer harvest. Vintners mostly find new jobs through networking and interacting with other winemaking experts. Even though licenses are not required for a vintner to get employed, they need to be certified if they decide to open their own cellars. Licensing is important because it demonstrates a vintner’s winemaking knowledge to his or her potential clients. Voluntary certification is obtained from the Society of Wine Educators.
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