Catering students get a taste of life on a vineyard

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A Shropshire wine estate has given more than 20 Telford College catering students a taste of life in the hospitality industry.

The Hencote estate on the edge of Shrewsbury town centre welcomed the group of level one, two and three students for a three-hour taster session.

The students were given a tour of the vineyard by food and beverage manager Jamie Smith who explained the Hencote philosophy of tending to each vine by hand and with minimal intervention to ensure the best results.

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Winemaker Gavin Patterson then detailed some of the work which goes into turning grapes into award-winning wines during a tour of the winery, before head chef Phil Lye showed the students around the kitchen.

He also gave a demonstration of how to make a range of perfect sauces in the restaurant.

Learner manager Charlotte Anson, from Telford College, said the session gave the students a rare opportunity to see how a prestige hospitality site operated.

“We wanted the students to see that hospitality is not just about cooking and bar work, but that there are a huge range of different jobs within the industry.

“It has also been hugely instructional for them to see the degree of care, attention and time which goes into everything they do here at Hencote to ensure that everything is of exceptional quality.”

Hencote general manager Mark Stevens said the estate was delighted to have teamed up with the college for the three-hour taster session.

“It’s vital that students on courses such as this get the chance to see how things really operate in the hospitality industry and it was wonderful to be able to share our experiences with them.

“Many of our staff here, including our head chef Phil, started out on similar courses and know the importance of these sessions in giving the next generation of hospitality staff an insight into the different aspects of the business.”

Hencote created history last year after winning a second gold medal for red wine at the world’s most prestigious wine competition.

The vineyard struck gold with its Mark I 2018 wine at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) becoming the first in the UK to have won gold for two different still red wines, having previously picked up the award for its 2018 Amphora Pinot Noir in 2020.

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