Gastronomy students meet award-winning winemaker on Midlands vineyard visit

April 2019

Students from University College Birmingham had the chance to meet an award-winning winemaker and sample wine from a rare style of production while on a visit to a Midlands vineyard.

A group of 30 students made the trip to Renishaw Hall and Gardens in Derbyshire as part of their Gastronomy option module.

The group was made up of students taking a variety of courses at UCB's College of Food, including Culinary Arts Management, Hospitality Business Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management and Hospitality with Events Management.

While on the journey, Hospitality Business Management student Daniel Bennett gave the group a briefing on English wines and tasting techniques, discussing wine tasting protocol and what to expect.

On arrival, they met with award-winning winemaker Kieron Atkinson, who led the students on a tour of the Renishaw Hall vineyard before they were given the opportunity to sample three different wines made using the vineyard's grapes.

Among them was a Pét-Nat, a fizzy natural wine which is made with no additives and is bottled before the fermentation process is completed. Made by expert Kieron, Renishaw Hall Pét-Nat 'Wild' is one of only two such wines produced in England.

The group even had the chance to buy some of the wines, as well as learning more about wine production and agro-tourism from Kieron.

Joining the students on the visit were College of Food lecturers Daniel Evans, Sophie Homer and Ros McAteer, who helped to organise the trip.

"It's good to take the students out of the classroom for a hands-on learning experience like this," said Ros. "Some of the students have never been to a vineyard or done wine tasting before.

"The expert was really impressed by the attitude of the students. They were speaking to him individually and showed great interest – he was asking them about smells and flavours and what dish they would serve each wine with.

"The students showed a lot of interest in the Pét-Nat in particular, and they could benefit from the experience of an expert in this field."

Find out more about our courses within the College of Food here.

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