The UK wine industry has experienced impressive growth over the past couple of decades. Wine production in the UK has increased by 130% in the five years since 2017, producing 12.2 million bottles. Over 10,000 people are now employed at 943 vineyards across the UK.

The UK Wine Industry is Booming – Opportunities Abound

This expanding domestic wine industry is driven by warmer temperatures allowing more varieties to thrive and the planting of new vineyards across the southern half of England and Wales. Cool-climate grapes like Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are now being successfully grown and turned into high-quality British wines.

The rise of sparkling wine in the UK has been particularly noteworthy. England is gaining international recognition for its top-tier bubbly, challenging the dominance of Champagne in France. British sparkling wines have won numerous awards and are served in many top restaurants and hotels.

As the industry grows, so do job opportunities for wine enthusiasts. Roles are available at all stages of wine production, business and hospitality. Whether you want to work in a vineyard nurturing vines, monitor fermentation in the cellar, give winery tours, manage inventory or market wine brands, there are diverse ways to turn your passion into a career.

The UK wine boom shows no signs of slowing down. Industry experts predict domestic wine production could double again by 2040. For those seeking a career change or new graduates, joining this dynamic industry allows you to learn a craft, be part of an emerging trend, and gain experience before pursuing wine jobs internationally.

The Perks of Working in Wine

Get to work amongst nature – many wineries located in beautiful countryside settings

One of the best perks of working in the wine industry is getting to spend your days surrounded by nature. Many wineries in the UK are located in gorgeous countryside settings like the rolling hills of the South Downs. Vineyard work takes you outside and lets you reap the mental health benefits of being amongst greenery.

Free or discounted wine – employees often get wine allowances or discounts

Who wouldn’t want free or discounted bottles of wine? Many wineries offer their employees wine allowances or steep discounts. It’s a great bonus to be able to sample the fruits of your labor. Plus, you can expand your wine knowledge and taste wines you may not usually get to try.

Learn a craft – gain winemaking skills and knowledge from experts

Working in wine is a chance to learn the craft from grape to glass. You can gain valuable skills and knowledge from trained winemakers and viticulturists. Whether you want to specialize in one area or understand the full process, you’ll benefit from the expertise around you.

Varied work – blend of science, creativity, business, marketing, customer service

A career in wine offers variety. You get to blend science and creativity along with business aspects like marketing and customer service skills. The mix of analytical and imaginative work makes for an engaging career path. No two days are the same.

Upward mobility – smaller wineries provide opportunities to take on more responsibility

In a smaller winery, opportunities abound to take on more responsibility and grow your career. The intimate nature of smaller operations means you can get experience in different roles. With passion and willingness to learn, you may be able to take on leadership or management positions you wouldn’t get exposure to in a larger company.

Tight-knit community – develop relationships with passionate wine enthusiasts

The wine industry tends to foster a strong sense of community, especially in smaller regions. You’ll be surrounded by people just as excited about wine as you are. Lifelong friendships can develop working alongside others devoted to the same craft. It’s a welcoming environment for wine lovers.

UK Vineyard Roles

One of the main attractions for people looking to work for a vineyard is the wide variety of roles available.

Production – vineyard workers, cellar hands, winemakers

For those interested in hands-on wine production, there are roles like vineyard workers, cellar hands, and winemakers. Get your boots dirty in the vineyard tending vines or walk the cellar lines monitoring fermentation. Become a skilled winemaker overseeing the entire winemaking process from vine to bottle.

Hospitality – tasting room staff, tour guides, sommeliers

Prefer interacting with wine lovers? Roles in hospitality allow you to share your wine knowledge. Work in the tasting room serving wines to visitors or lead engaging tours of the winery and vines. Train to become a sommelier and provide wine recommendations at restaurants.

Business – sales, marketing, management, accounting

If you have a head for business, consider wine sales, marketing, distribution logistics, or winery management roles. Handle accounting and financial operations. Lead tasting events for wine trade or help bring in new business.

Creative – graphic design, branding, packaging design

Unleash your creativity through winery graphic design, branding, and label design. Craft eye-catching packaging that reflects a brand’s style and ethos. Apply your visual skills to promote beautiful wines.

What next?

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Check out the latest jobs on Wine Jobs UK including jobs at wineries and vineyards.

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