Plumpton Wine Division's Chris Foss to retire

Chris Foss, founder and manager of Plumpton Wine Division, will retire at the end of this academic year after 31 years of service with the college.

Starting at Plumpton in 1988, Foss has played a key part in the transformation of the English wine industry.

Half-French and Bordeaux-trained, Foss managed his family vineyard in the Entre-Deux-Mers and worked in Sauternes and St Emilion, before becoming winemaker for the GFA Leclerc vineyard group.

Seeking a career in the emerging English wine industry, he and his wife returned to England, where he enrolled on a teacher training course.

He then learned that Plumpton College was thinking of starting a wine production programme and today, it is recognised as an international centre of excellence in wine training.

The college has a team of 12 specialists delivering courses to more than 100 undergraduates and 30 masters students as well as its own commercial wine brand, Plumpton Wine Estate, produced in Plumpton’s own 10-hectare vineyard.

Jeremy Kerswell, principle of Plumpton College said: “Chris has literally been at the heart of everything to do with the incredible success of the college’s wine industry for over 30 years, and in that time has fully established us 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 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 will retire from Plumpton at the end of June 2019.