Lance Foyster was seven when he first became aware of the existence of wine on family holidays to Portugal. He observed his parents' amazement and delight at the large and apparently free bottles of wine which regularly arrived on the dining table at lunch and dinner. Upon subsequent visits, when he and his sister hit their teens (still not drinking, mind, but no longer paying child fares) he witnessed his parents' valiant attempts to polish off the second bottle which now appeared automatically. Once he hit 18, there was no holding him back as he set off to work on the harvest in Tavel, where he discovered the romance of the vineyard. Later still, with his BA Hons (Oxon) in his back pocket, he passed over the opportunity to join the world of banking, law, teaching, academia (as if...!) and followed his growing passion in a series of menial jobs in the wine trade which eventually led him to the MW in 1991. The next 10 years saw him exploring all areas of the wine trade, from own-brand wines for supermarkets, to sourcing top Burgundy.
The opportunity to set up Clark Foyster Wines came in 2002. He looks after buying and selling, in collaboration with his colleagues, and finds his enthusiasm for this endlessly fascinating subject as vivid and stimulating as he ever did.
Clark and Foyster met many years ago in the library at Magdalen College Oxford. Foyster was a worried finalist trying to make up for lost time spent on the hedonistic pursuits of rowing and wine; Clark was a keen fresher who was conscientiously ploughing her way through all 24 books of the Iliad in Greek. After many years, and many more hours in the library, she finally emerged from the world of academia with a D Phil in an obscure subject and a determination to earn a reasonable living. She was initially lured into the bright shiny world of accountancy and finance, but soon tired of corporate life and envied Lance his carefree days of long lunches, convivial tastings and glamorous foreign travel. When the opportunity came for Lance to take over a small wine business, she sorted out all the back office work and became increasingly involved as the business grew until she was able to chuck in her boring day job and become a full-time member of the wine trade.
Amongst other things, she looks after finance; the dull but essential stuff!
Bénédicte joined Clark Foyster Wines, in June 2004, as an office/admin support to help Lance manage the growth of the company. With a background in IT (project management), she seemed, on paper, to have little to do with the world of wines except for her French roots, her Burgundian in-laws, a taste for change and... bien sûr... enjoying drinking wines! Entering the "world of wines" and meeting so many passionate and knowledgeable people has been very fascinating and hmmm... quite different from the world of sofwtare development!
At Clark Foyster Wines, she mainly looks after stock replenishment, supplier payments, customer order processing, events organisation and marketing. Please do not hesitate to contact her with any query.
Alma joined the team here at Clark Foyster Wines in March 2014. Having spent a lot of her childhood in Southern France, the romance of the vineyard struck a chord with her from a young age and seemed worlds apart from her home town of Edinburgh! As a self-confessed Francophile and a keen foodie, Alma's studies took her all over France, where she watched with wide eyes as a never ending myriad of culinary traditions and viticultural terroirs continued to reveal themselves. After graduating with an MA in Business and French from the University of Edinburgh, she returned to Paris to work in the gastronomy sector, selling Grand Cru Olive Oils from Provence... spending most of her free time exploring the Parisian wine scene, in more detail than probably necessary! On returning to the UK, she decided to trade in the Grand Cru L'Huile d'Olive for Grand Cru Vin and become an official wine trade professional, working for the Leamington Wine Company while completing her WSET Advanced in London.
Alma will be helping Lance to keep our customers happy, concentrating on the Sales side of the business, while continuing to feed her curiosity working her way through the Diploma.