Chris Foss to retire from Plumpton

Chris Foss, the founder of Plumpton College’s Wine Division and a key figure in the transformation of the English wine industry, is set to retire from the college after 31 years.

Plumpton College’s Principle, Jeremy Kerswell said Foss had been at the heart of the college’s “incredible success” for over thirty years and had established it as one of the leading education and research centres globally.

“The work that Chris has led has undoubtedly been one of the drivers behind the success of the English and Welsh wine industry in recent years, with his graduates now employed all over the world,” he said.

“He leaves an incredible legacy, and a team and resource base we are only keen to invest in further to ensure we stay at the heart of the future of the industry.”

Foss, who is half-French, was trained in Bordeaux where he managed the family vineyards in Entre-Deux-Mers, as well as working at Chateau d’Yqem, and St Emillion, before becoming winemaker to the GLA Leclerc vineyard group.

He later moved to England and after a teacher training course, was appointed to start the wine production programme at Plumpton College, starting with just two rows of vines in 1988.

As well as his work at Plumpton, he served ten years as the chairman of the South East Vineyards Association (SEVA) and currently chairs the Wine GB Environmental Sustainability Workgroup as well a being on the Wine GB Southeast committee.

He also is a member of the Life+ ADVIClim research group, and led the team that designed the academic programme for the ninth International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, which was held in the UK in May 2016.

Foss said he intends to continue working in climate change and vineyard sustainability after his retirement in June.

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