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Plumpton reveals speaker line up for next Wine Talks series

Published:  17 October, 2018

Plumpton College has announced the line up for its next Wine Talks series including John Seccombe, Brad Greatrix, Charles Metcalfe and Professor Tom Gilbert.

This year’s talks, designed to be informal but highly informative evening presentations on fundamental issues concerning the wine industry, will kick off with Seccombe from Thorne & Daughters Wines with a discussion on Old Vines and New Wines on 31 October.

This will be followed by Brad Greatrix, winemaker for Nyetimber, who will present the ‘Past, present and future’ of Nyetimber on 20 November, exploring the history of the English sparkling wine producer, its current wine philosophies, and what he believes the future holds for English fizz.

This will be followed by Charles Metcalfe who will be at Plumpton on 31 January 2019 when he will explore his life in wine and share his unique take on ‘wines fashions, fads and future’.

Finally, Professor of Palaenogenomics at the Natural History Museum in Denmark – Gilbert, will cover the topic - ‘What can Ancient Roman privies tell us about the wines of today?’ on 28 February.

“The growing of grapes and making of wine is one of man’s oldest technological achievements. Whilst archaeological evidence suggests that this process first stated in the region today encompassed by Armenia and Georgia, how the techniques and the grapes themselves spread and evolved through time is little understood,” said Gilbert.

Resolving such questions was typically the focus of archaeobotanists, but, in the dawn of the current ‘Palaeogenomic era’, other approaches were becoming available to complement this study, one of which was the use of DNA, he added.

“In particular, thanks to very recent technological developments, researchers today are able to extract DNA from preserved historic and archaeological specimens, and through comparison of this information against reference databases, draw remarkable insights into the past. In this talk I introduce how this works, and what this is teaching us about the domestication of wine,” he said.

Each of the events will be held at the Plumpton Centre in Sussex.