Interview With Graduate Trainee at Vinescapes – Sarah Stott

12th January 2024

Interview with Graduate Trainee at Vinescapes Sarah Stott

Exploring the wine world can take you to every aspect of life, from the manual labour of handpicking the grapes all the way up to the technology field of innovation, creating new ways to help wineries flourish.

In this feature, I speak with a woman from, England, who is currently developing her skills in Viticulture and Oenology, working alongside Vinescapes experts in the fields, her name is Sarah Stott, let’s find out more about her.

Tell Us About Yourself And How You Became Involved In The Wine Industry.

“I am a wine and outdoors enthusiast. So naturally, the wine industry has allowed me to bring all my passions together! Every day is different, and I get to travel, see the world, and meet wonderful people who are extremely inspiring and motivating.

I have always worked in the food and drinks industry. Ever since I was young, I was either indoors baking, coming up with drink concoctions or outdoors running through the fields that backed onto the family home. I started working in the Holiday Inn when I was 16, working up to boutique private hotels in New Zealand, then managing Michelin-starred restaurants in Yorkshire. The turning point came when I worked on a farm-to-table dining experience, sparking a love for farming produce to use in fine dining restaurants. This newfound passion led me to the world of wine, and a journey that led me to graduate from Plumpton College in 2022 with a BSc in Viticulture and Oenology.”

During Your Time In The Wine Industry, What’s The Most Surprising and Interesting Thing You’ve Learned?

“How farming vines and making wine is ingrained in so many different cultures. And the humans behind great vineyards and wines of the world are so humble, hospitable, and care about sharing. I’ve been lucky enough to experience working for some of the best producers in their respective regions. I was able to immerse myself and witness the impact of their philosophies and techniques, on both their farm and in their winery. Through this, I have been fortunate to see what it means to create unique wines, that truly reflect their environment and represent their values.”

What Goals And Ambitions Are You Hoping To Achieve While Working At Vinescapes?

“My primary goal at Vinescapes is to be at the forefront of shaping a sustainable and thriving viticulture and winemaking industry in the UK. I am deeply passionate about cultivating an environment where our industry stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the great wine regions of the world.

My ambition is to foster a sense of pride among those working in the UK wine sector, creating a community that shares and collaborates on techniques, shares knowledge, ultimately raising the standards of both our farming practices and winemaking. I envision a future where English wines are not only respected but celebrated globally, and where we have forged a long-lasting legacy of UK winemaking.”

What Sparkling Wine Producing Countries or Regions Hold A Special Place In Your Heart?

“Having had the privilege of working internationally, my journey has been one of exploration, through which I have deepened my appreciation for the variety of sparkling wines across the globe. Immersing myself in different vineyards, witnessing varied farming practices, exploring diverse winemaking techniques, and encountering an array of cultivars, has enriched my understanding of sparkling wine. Yet, amidst this global journey, I remain loyal to England’s blossoming sparkling wine narrative. What beckons isn’t just the growth potential and sustainable commitment but the uncharted territory England’s terroir promises. England’s wine story is still unfolding, and it’s not just about copying others; it’s about pioneering our path. In the coming years, I foresee England defining specific regions and unravelling unique terroirs across the country. It’s not just about producing more wine; it’s about figuring out our identity in the global wine scene.”

Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?

“One of the most memorable moments etched in my wine journey was at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in 2022, held at Linfield University in Oregon. It was at this convention that I met so many like-minded people, sharing stories and wines, all united in celebration of a grape we love. We had the wonderful experience of savouring a glass of Bereche et Fils Reflet D’Antan. This Champagne is a true marvel, a symphony on the palate. Unfurled, its richness and full-bodied complexity were nothing short of enchanting, owing to the addition of 30% reserve wines from a solera of demi-muids dating back to 1986. Each sip carried a profound depth and a history that whisked me away to a realm where the passage of time and the symphony of flavours harmonised seamlessly. This transcendent experience went beyond simply relishing a glass of fizz; it encapsulated a moment of pure vinous enchantment that I will cherish forever.”

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Images belong to Sarah Stott. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.