Young Wine Trade Membership Scheme

Young Wine Trade Membership Scheme

A contemporary  scheme aimed at the modern day lifestyle of younger people involved in the Wine Industry. 

The ‘Young Wine Trade Membership Scheme’ was introduced to provide an opportunity for a select few younger people to join the Vintners’ Company.  They must be set on a career in the wine industry and must demonstrate their commitment to the trade as part of the application process.  

Candidates who  successfully pass the application process must be prepared to enter into a period of non- legally binding contract with the Vintners’ Company.  Upon satisfactory completion of the contracted period, the Candidate will be made a Freemen of the Vintners’ Company. 

Application Criteria

  • The scheme is open to male and female applicants who, generally, are aged under 30 having spent at least 3 years in the trade

  • The applicant should be employed in a recognised part of the wine industry

  • The applicant should hold a minimum qualification of WSET Level 2

  • The applicant should not qualify for membership by Patrimony

  • The applicant should not be able to achieve the required support for a standard Redemption application

  • The applicant may be a child of a Vintner who does not qualify for Patrimony or Redemption

  • During the application process, the candidate should demonstrate to the Membership Committee, through their application form (reasons for applying) and subsequent interview (if not rejected in the first instance), a sincere commitment to a future career in the wine trade.

  • During the application process, the candidate should demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of the Vintners’ Company together with an understanding of City Livery Companies and their connection to the City of London Corporation.

First Contact

Prospective candidates interested in pursing an application must, in the first instance, contact the Membership Office for advice and guidance on the application process.  Applications MUST be complete by the end of July each year to be considered at Membership Committee’s September meeting. 

Selection Process

Completed applications will be presented to the Membership Committee for consideration.  The Membership Committee will either reject or call the applicant to interview. Only exceptional candidates who demonstrate a sincere commitment to the trade will be accepted.


At interview the Membership Committee will consider the applicant’s suitability for the Vintners’ Company Young Wine Trade Scheme.  The Membership Committee will either reject or recommend the candidate to Court.

Appointment of Applicant’s Mentor

An applicant’s mentor will be sought by the Membership Committee from the Wine Trade membership.  This could be any willing and responsible member (Freeman or Liveryman) whom the Membership Committee deem acceptable to mentor the applicant throughout the period of contract.  A mentor could be responsible for more than one applicant at any one time.

The mentor would not necessarily be known to the applicant beforehand.

The mentor would be required to provide additional reasonable support to the applicant where required.

Signing of Contract

The applicant would also be required to sign, and thereby agree to, a contract which outlines all that is required of the applicant during the contracted period.  This is usually three years.  

N.B.  At this time, the applicant is not a fully fledged Freeman of the Vintners’ Company and would not be entitled to the Freedom of the City of London.  Only once a candidate satisfactorily completes their contracted period would they be made a Freeman of the Company and be entitled to the Freedom of the City of London (by Redemption).


No fees will be required to be paid during the contract period. 

The standard Redemption fees would become payable once the individual completes the contracted period and prior to joining the Freedom.  Information regarding fees may be sought from the Membership office by applicants. 

Annual Intake Limit

There is no set figure for an annual intake but only exceptional candidates will be accepted onto this scheme

Minimum Length of Contract

 3 years under normal circumstances.

Minimum Requirements of Contract

The following is a minimum requirement to be completed by the applicant during the period of contract, all of which must be documented and provided to the Membership Committee at the end of the contracted term.  

  • Work Experience in the Wine Trade.  The candidate must maintain employment in a recognised part of the wine industry during the full term of contract.  
  • Attendance at Vintners’ Company Events.  The applicant is required to attend at least two events (open to Freemen) each year at Vintners’ Hall.  Such events are – Freemen’s Dinner (no guest), Company lunches (there are 3 lunches each year), Christmas Carol Service & supper (with guest), Common Hall (no guest), Sports and social activities on an ad hoc basis.

Interim Report.  

Production of a short report to the Membership Committee on the candidate’s experiences within the Company after 18 months.

Further Considerations

To be prepared to spend a period of time assisting ‘behind the scenes’ at Vintners Hall. (admin/events).

To attend an interview with the Membership Committee at the mid-term stage.

Satisfactory Completion

At the end of the contracted period, and provided the applicant is still engaged in the process, the Membership Committee will review in order to satisfy themselves that all requirements have been completed.  

The Membership Committee will then make recommendation to Court.

Freedom of the Vintners’ Company

Following Membership Committee’s recommendation, and Court’s subsequent approval, the applicant will be made a Freeman of the Vintners’ Company.  This would take the form of the applicant joining the next annual Court of Binding at which they will be required to make the declaration of a Freeman of the Vintners’ Company in the same manner as all other new members joining by Patrimony and Redemption.

Freedom of the City of London

Subsequently, the applicant will be issued with a Freedom Certificate of the Vintners’ Company indicating ‘Membership by Redemption’.  They will then be able to take up the Freedom of the City of London in the same manner as other Redemption candidates.