SEVA’s organisational structure
SEVA is one of six UK regional associations, which together form the United Kingdom Vineyards Association.
SEVA’s main aim is to benefit its members; principally the wine producers in the counties of Kent, Surrey, Sussex and London South. It is managed by a committee of around 12 elected members, and employs a paid freelance General Secretary who works on a part-time basis. A member of the committee is elected to the role of treasurer, and oversees the financial side of the organisation. Around four committee meetings are held each year, at which the committee discusses topical issues and organises the association’s activities. Their decisions are fed back to SEVA members, and, where appropriate, by the Chair, to the UK Vineyards Association through the UKVA Council. You can find a copy of SEVA’s organisation rules here.
Each year, elections are held at SEVA’s Annual General Meeting, and the longest serving 1/3 of the committee are asked to retire or to stand again for election. If you are interested in becoming a committee member, please get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Committee members
Chris Foss – Head of Wine Department, Plumpton College (Chair)
“I was born in France of a French mother from a wine-producing family, and took a degree in Microbiology at the University of Leeds, then moved to France and completed a Brevet Technicien Superieur in Viticulture & Oenology in Bordeaux. Whilst managing the family vineyard in the Entre-Deux-Mers region, I spent a year at Chateau d’Yquem (Sauternes) followed by a year at Chateau Rozier (St Emilion), before becoming Vineyard Manager and Winemaker at the GFA Leclerc Vineyards near Castillon-la-Bataille. I then returned to the UK and joined the staff at Plumpton College in 1988, as their first (and only) Lecturer in Wine Production. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked hard to develop the wine provision at Plumpton and been very active in the UK wine industry, becoming Chair of the SEVA (and thus a UKVA Council Member) in 2007. I am also Chair of the Vineyard Managers Forum, Director of the WineSkills industry training project and a Planning Committee member for the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, which will take place in Brighton in May 2016.”
Owen Elias – Winemaker:
For ten years Head Winemaker for Chapel Down and nearly 20 years experience at the highest level, Owen Elias is one of England’s top Winemakers. He has made wines for customers such as Waitrose, Marks and Spencers, British Airways, Sainsburys as well as wine for over 20 English vineyards including Balfour (Hush Heath), Nutbourne and Meopham. He has been involved in the planting of over 150 acres of vineyard. Owen has been UKVA winemaker of the year four times and has won a host of trophies, International and National Awards. In another life he studied Fine Art and film making at Chelsea Scool of Art, later forming Discafrique Records.
Sam Linter – Head Winemaker and Managing Director of Bolney Wine Estate:
“I grew up on the family vineyard, now called Bolney Wine Estate, founded by my parents, Janet and Rodney Pratt in 1972. I originally had a career in hairdressing and took over the business and winemaking in the 1990s. We always like to emphasise the female influence behind Bolney Wine Estate, as we believe it makes us rather unique. I have a real passion for wine, and red wine is our speciality; we started producing it in the mid-late 90s. It was an experiment at first, but it really worked with our soil and climate so we expanded it.”