One tasting, one contact, one email and hey presto I got myself a summer internship at Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines.
Wow…what an experience. Having an opportunity like this has helped me find my feet in the wine industry and helped me to understand the ins and outs of a business. Before this, I had never worked in an office or for a big company so that was an experience in itself.
Luckily for me, I was also invited to help at tastings which I found an extremely useful tool for understanding a business through observing how a company sets up, displays and talks through their range. The wines at Hallgarten are all stunning, my favourites out of all the wines were definitely the Spanish Island wines, nevertheless all the wines I have tasted, I have adored!
Although I did get to venture out a lot, more than I would have ever expected, my day to day tasks were office based. Researching prospects, competitor research and producing sell sheets were some of my main tasks over the three months. I also had the big task of checking the Sales Reps margins and having to see which wines were bringing them below the recommended margin.
Not knowing before working at Hallgarten where in the industry my head was at, they allowed me to help in both the sales side and the marketing side of the business. I now know that both sides are areas where I would happily love to work! However, after spending several days out with the London Sales Reps, I have decided that sales is the job for me (well at least at the moment). It has been said that you are either made for sales or you aren’t; I suppose the only way to find that out is by giving it a go.
This week we are celebrating English wine! England is an up and coming wine country with many wonderful vineyards each making amazing wines.
Some of the best wines produced in England are English Sparkling, which are often made from: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – the traditional Champagne grape varieties. These three grape varieties are the most popular ones grown within England, with other varieties such as Ortega and Bacchus being grown in many of the vineyards.
Some of the great English Vineyards which I have had the opportunity to taste include the Plumpton Estate Vineyards, Ridgeview, Chapel Down and Bolney Estate. With so many more vineyards placed all over the country, there is a total of 450 vineyards around the country. I imagine that each of these vineyards would also have many wonderful wines to offer.
It is always a good time to pick up a glass and indulge in some of the greatest English wines.
Last week was the three day annual London Wine Fair in Olympia, which is one of the most important wine trade events. While there, I had the opportunity to taste many amazing wines from many countries; old world, new world and countries I had not yet had the opportunity to try. I was able to taste numerous wines made from indigenous grapes which were each very interesting and spectacular.
On the Monday I was fortunate enough to help and advise on the Plumpton College stand which allowed me to talk to a range of people and to meet to many of the alumni from previous years on both the Wine Business course and the Viticulture course.
I would recommend anyone interested in wine to attend this event next year and try the wines available, while interacting with some of the most fascinating people within the wine industry, they have so much knowledge to share.
Rock Lodge Vineyard is one of the three Plumpton Estate vineyards, it consists of two fields with the main grape varieties being; Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay which are used to make English Sparkling Wine. As well as these grapes, Bacchus, Müller Thurgau, Rechensteiner and Dornfelder are also grown on the Plumpton Estate vineyards.
The vineyard is lovely, scenic and picturesque, with cover crops growing around the front vines and a lovely row of trees at the back of the first field.
At the vineyard today, I was learning about how to plant new vines helping to plant some of the Chardonnay Grape which were on the so4 rootstock. For this, measurements of where each root had to be sprayed on with spray paint so that it was visible where holes had to be dug which was done by using a power auger and then having to make scratches within the holes so that the roots have more space to spread out. Then if the roots were too long they had to be cut down, once this is done, the vine is the placed in the hole and is measured to make sure it is 10cm away from the rope lining up where the vines are to grow. After this, the dirt picked up by the machine is then put over the roots and bottom of the vine and pressed down to stop the entrance of air.