Plumpton College said it was ‘delighted’ to see so many wine students this year.
It said the huge influx of students ‘clearly demonstrated the boom in the English wine industry’.
The UK’s centre of excellence in wine education said its student intake for 2018/2019 wine courses is the highest it has ever seen since its courses began 30 years ago.
Chris Foss, head of Plumpton Wine Division, said: “On top of an outstanding grape harvest in our vineyards, we are delighted to see such good student numbers this year, clearly demonstrating the boom in the English wine industry and Plumpton’s growing worldwide reputation.
“We are delighted to see that some of our new students already have substantial industry experience, but the vast majority are new to wine production and are energised to join the UK’s flourishing wine production industry.”
READ MORE: New Post Office opens in Burgess Hill
Since 1988, Plumpton College in Ditchling Road, has been supporting the global wine industry with a wide range of programmes, from Level 3 (A-level equivalent), to apprenticeships and university degrees.
These are delivered by team of ten wine specialists in Plumpton’s purpose-build Wine Centre, which includes laboratories, a sensory evaluation room, lecture rooms and the Rathfinny Research Winery.
Plumpton Wine Estate also manages ten hectares of vineyards and a commercial winery, where students produce award-winning still and sparkling wines.
Students enrolling on the wine courses have a wide array of backgrounds, including finance, hospitality, fashion and luxury tourism. The majority are female, with representation from Spain, Cyprus and Italy.
Gabby Riley, 18, said: “I came on the course as I have always been interested in the idea of how wine is sold around the world.
“That and my love for traveling and how wine can bring different cultures together. Studying wine business at Plumpton College will equip me with the right skills and knowledge I need to pursue my career to one day hopefully being an international wine buyer.”
Daniel Jackson, a first-year student, said: “For me, it’s been a great start to the course. With a background in chemistry, I’ve really enjoyed the balance between in-depth science involved in winemaking and viticulture, while having the opportunity to be hands-on picking grapes and fermenting wine.”