This is the first dedicated Viticulture and Oenology Research Centre in the UK, established to help the English wine industry continue its very successful development, and thrive throughout the world. Situated at the foot of the South Downs near Brighton (UK), Plumpton College is the only Higher Education Institution in Europe delivering courses in English on wine production and business at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 
The UK Wine Research Centre, incorporating  the Rathfinny Research Winery and the Jack Ward Laboragory, will also provide the facilities to support the UK’s first MSc course in Viticulture and Oenology. Starting in September 2014, this brand new programme will provide a challenging but effective route for graduates seeking rewarding careers in the wine sector anywhere in the world. The course will deal with all aspects of grapegrowing and winemaking, but will focus on cool climate issues, including terroir, climate change and the production of sparkling wine. England now has a highly innovative and successful wine industry, plus Plumpton’s proximity to the London wine trade and to the major producing countries of Europe will make this course special and unique.
Des Lambert, Principal of Plumpton College: “England is now firmly placed as a credible, innovative and exciting wine producing region that is starting to create some of the best sparkling wine in the world. We were thrilled to welcome HRH Duchess of Cornwall to open the new UK Wine Research Centre, and are excited to be able to offer the nation’s first MSc in wine production, as well provide the English wine industry with first-class research facilities.”
The Research Winery is sponsored by over 50 English Wine Producers, including the Rathfinny Estate,  which aims to produce around 1 million bottles of sparkling wine a year in nearby Alfriston. Mark and Sarah Driver, the owners of Rathfinny said: “Rathfinny is a proud sponsor of this new and exciting UK Wine Research Centre. Every new and exciting industry needs a strong research institution behind it, for example UCDavis is a centre of excellence for the wine industry in California, and Plumpton College is that centre of excellence in the cool climate wine region of England. English Sparkling Wine is now considered by many to be some of the finest sparkling wine in the world, and this new wine research centre will ensure that we are training the next generation of English viticulturists and wine makers.”
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