Danielle Whitehead, Wine Brand Manager, Plumpton College

Plumpton College Wine Division and vineyards a short distance from where I live & work close to the West & East Sussex border. Over the years I've seen the English wine business grow and much of the growth is down to the knowledge & experience gained by winemakers, viticulturists and wine business specialists.

Today we meet Danielle Whitehead who joins the Plumpton Wine team after working for major wine distributors since graduating with BSc Viticulture & Oenology.

Danielle Whitehead photographed at Rock Lodge Vineyard
where the vines are tended and grapes harvested by students to make Plumpton Estate award winning wines 

Danielle Whitehead
Wine Brand Manager
Plumpton Estate Wine

Why did you join Plumpton College Wine Division?
I studied the BSc Viticulture & Oenology at Plumpton College, graduating back in 2012 and so I was very aware of the great work that the college does. This new role seemed like an exciting opportunity to help build and grow the Plumpton Estate wine brand especially in light of the new rebranding that has just taken place.

What does Plumpton College Wine Division do?
Plumpton College is the UK’s only educational centre teaching Viticulture, Oenology and Wine Business courses. It also carries out training & research for the wine industry. Additionally, Plumpton College produces their own wines, which are now branded as Plumpton Estate wines and sold through regional independent retailers, restaurants and leading supermarkets.    


What is your favourite product?
Plumpton Estate Bacchus is delicious. I can see huge potential for this varietal in the UK.

What does the future hold? 
Now is a very exciting time for the English wine industry as consumers are increasingly looking for regional products with provenance. I see a very bright future for Plumpton Estate wines within this ever-growing market.

About your job:

Why did you change careers?
I was interested in working directly for a producer, to be closer to the production part of the business, and also keen to work in the English wine industry. Therefore, this role ticked a lot of boxes for me.

What is the best things about your current role?          
This is a new position and so I get to influence and shape the role. It will also be a very varied role, which will ensure that I am always learning.

What have been the biggest highlights/success in your current job? 
The greatest highlight so far has been the people that I have met and got to work with. In particular I loved the activity organised by Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival especially the Boho Gelato project whereby they produced a delicious sorbet using our Bacchus wine!”   

The rebranded Plumpton Wine range. Plumpton wines regularly win International awards, the latest being 2018 Gold from the CSWWC - The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships for the Sparkling Brut Rosé NV

About your time at Plumpton:

What course did you study at Plumpton?
BSc Viticulture & Oenology
What was the best thing about studying at Plumpton?
The passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of both teaching staff and fellow students.

What did Plumpton prepare you for?
A good understanding of what it is like to work in a commercial winery especially through the practical side of the course.

What is your favourite Plumpton memory?
A fantastic trip to Champagne where we got to meet some small growers and learn all about the research that was taking place at their university.  

About you?

Where are you from?
Hale, Cheshire

What was your previous career?
Since leaving Plumpton College I have worked as a Brand Manager for two leading wine distributors – Hallgarten & Novum Wines and Enotria and Coe.

Something about you . . .  
When I am not working I love to go cycling & also love travelling.

What would be your desert island wine?

What is your favourite wine destination?           
I think the Douro Valley is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful wine regions of the world!

Thank you Danielle, a pleasure to meet and work with you.

Coming soon . . . Emma Rice, Director / Winemaker Hattingley Valley - 2014 & 2016 UKVA Winemaker of the Year

Original photography & blog by Ian Pack - call for bookings or to discuss your next project.

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