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Plumpton announces new winemaker

Published:  18 August, 2021

Deepika Koushik has been announced as the new winemaker at Plumpton College.

Koushik brings a wealth of international academia and experience to the role, having studied for her first degree in Chemistry, Zoology and Microbiology at Bangalore University, before undertaking a Masters in Applied Biotechnology with a specialisation in Fermentation Sciences from the University of Westminster.

At Plumpton, she will be responsible for the commercial side of the Plumpton Wine Estate, producing the division's award winning still and sparkling from its Sussex Vineyards, as well as teaching.

She takes over from Ana Dogić, who covered Sarah Midgley’s maternity leave.

Dogić is leaving to work alongside winemaker and consultant Dermot Sugrue at Sugrue South Downs wines.

Sarah Midgley meanwhile has returned to Plumpton and will lead the development and implementation of the WineSkills Programme.

“I am thrilled to be taking on this role at Plumpton Wine Division,” Koushik said. “I am looking forward to blending my love of teaching and winemaking to offer students a unique perspective on wine production and global innovations as well as implementing a strong academic and vocational foundation for students going forward.”

Greg Dunn, head of the Wine Division, added. “We are really pleased to welcome Deepika to the Wine Division. She comes with a wealth of new skills which will greatly enhance Plumpton’s wine-related activity and continue to enable Plumpton to become a truly international centre of wine education, training, and research. The last seven years has seen Plumpton’s Wine Division enriched by a female force winemaking team and I am very excited to see what the next few years will bring.”

Koushik also counts teaching at the Industry Microbiology and a Masters in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) among her many achievements.

Following her studies, Koushik spent a vintage working for Dehlinger Winery in Russian River Valley AVA, producing primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. She subsequently went on to work at Chateau de la Tour in the prestigious Clos de Vougeot, before moving to the UK to take a wine production position at Rathfinny Wine Estate.

She now joins Plumpton, one of the only higher education institutions to offer undergraduate degrees in International Wine Business and Production as well as a MSc in Viticulture & Oenology in Europe.

From left to right, the top photo shows Ana Dogić, Sarah Midgley and Deepika Koushik