A tweet by Dr Belinda Kemp an ex-Plumpton student and more recently ex-lecturer who is now senior scientist at CCOVI Brock University, led me to a recent paper about English & Welsh Winemaking. In Hugh Clout's article, he outlines some of the important history of the local wine industry. It makes mention of Jack Ward and the Merrydown drinks company and the important role they played in bring viticulture/oenology back to Britain after it had died out in the early 20th Century.
Fast forward to September 2013 and the Plumpton College wine department is about to expand into its new wing. The new building has been under construction for just over a year, and will incorporate two significant spaces. The first is the Rathfinny research winery, a new micro-vinification facility for conducting trials by students and researchers. This new area was funded by generous donations from Sarah & Mark Driver of Rathfinny Estate, who also gets a mention in Hugh's article.
|Rathfinny research winery|
The second area is a newly expanded laboratory for teaching and research, which was made possible by a donation from the Merrydown trust. This laboratory will be named the Jack Ward laboratory to honour his contribution.
|Jack Ward laboratory|
|New HE Computing suite|
So the HE students will be here shortly and they will get to study in this area that links to the past with the future, which has all be made possible through the generosity of their predecessors.
For more information on the project, as well as information how you can assist please go to the Plumpton College Wine Research Centre homepage