Vineyard and vines growing

Research and Development

The UKVA supports research and development, education and training, for the long term environmental and economic sustainability of the UK wine production industry.

Research and development specific to grapegrowing and winemaking in the UK being carried out by NIAB-EMR (East Malling, Kent), and Plumpton College, East Sussex, in consortium with other research partners across the UK.

For information on Education and Training click here

The English Wine Research and Development Group (EWRDG)

The English Wine Research and Development Group (EWRDG) was formed in April 2015 bringing together stakeholders from the English wine industry and suppliers of research services with the goal of working together to identify, examine and find solutions to these challenges on behalf of the industry as a whole. The Group is taking steps to identify and analyse the key challenges and opportunities and seek funding from both inside and outside the industry to establish a Research &
Development Strategy for the English Wine Industry.

The group brings together stakeholders from across the English wine industry including researchers, academics, producers and suppliers of research services: Veni Vidi Viti, Off the Line Vineyard, Hattingley Valley, Flint Vineyard, ADAS, Campden BRI, Smart Viticulture, universities of Exeter & Lincoln, Ridgeview Estate, Wine Intelligence, Gusbourne Estate, Nyetimber, FERA and Plumpton College .

Supported by a part-time coordinator, Paul Pippard, the group meets quarterly to consider how it can meet its five key objectives:

As a research group we have competences in a range of areas. These incorporate research, practical and analytical skills that include micro-vinification, climate data analysis, and High Performance Liquid Chromotography (HPLC). Members are already involved with specific areas of research including clonal differences, remote detection technology, biostimulants, frost protection, tartrate and colour stability, yeasts and closures.

The group has already established a 3 year project looking at ‘Characterising English Sparkling Wine’ sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Vintners. This project will look to define English Sparkling Wine from a technical, sensorial and quality perspective; and produce a published document that will provide an overview of English sparkling wine aimed to inform the wine trade, the wine press, keen consumers and English wine producers themselves.

The current scope of work

The EWRDG work is shaped by the 5 research priorities identified for the future of the English Wine industry:

  • Yield (inc. Canopy management)
  • Vine protection (inc. grapevine trunk disease & integrated pest management)
  • Wine stability
  • Oenotourism
  • Sustainability/ climate change

Members are now identifying specific challenges and opportunities as well as strategies for addressing these as a next step.

Building on the success of the recent International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) in Brighton in May 2016, the Group has recently (4th July 2016) sent out a new survey to all UK-based attendees asking them to indicate which areas of the ICCWS content they would like to see further training and which they would like to see research projects being developed. This will provide insights and help develop the detail of the group’s research plan. It will also build on the survey of UKVA members in 2015 when over 80 members responded which provided initial insights into specific areas that the English Wine Industry would like to see taken forward.


Strategy and future aspirations

The EWRDG continues to pursue opportunities to secure funding to deliver projects for the benefit of the English Wine Industry and a range of avenues are being investigated. The group will reach out to the international wine industry as well as other areas of expertise to help shape and implement a strategy that will best safeguard and support the future of English Wine. If you are interested in offering your services or being involved in a future project please contact:

EWRDG Co-ordinator; Address: Paul Pippard, English Wine Research & Development Group, c/o Plumpton College, Ditchling Road, Nr Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 3AE

Email: [email protected]; Telephone: 07870 851138; Twitter: @EngWineResearch

East Malling Viticulture Consortium (NIAB-EMR)

UK vines for UK wines east Mallings research programme on grapes



A viticulture consortium comprising NIAB-EMR and the leading UK vineyards, Chapel Down, Nyetimber and Gusbourne Estate, was launched at Fruit Focus (20/7/16) with the aim of providing much-needed underpinning science to the rapidly growing UK quality wine sector. The East Malling Viticulture Research Consortium, Chaired by Campden BRI’s Geoff Taylor, will help direct the focus of the work undertaken at NIAB EMR and to ensure the application of its science will play a significant role in the sustainability and profitability of the UK wine industry.

The consortium benefits from NIAB-EMR’s extensive science team and network to develop cost effective research and knowledge transfer activities. The consortium is delighted to welcome new forward-thinking members from all aspects of the UK viticulture sector who share similar high quality aspirations. If you are interested please contact Dr Julien Lecourt: [email protected]

NIAB EMR’s grape research programme

Grape research programme at NIAB EMR is co-ordinated by Dr Julien Lecourt (From University of Bordeaux and INRA) and involves leading scientists from across NIAB EMR’s three research programmes:

  • Resource Efficiency for Crop Production
  • Genetics & Crop Improvement
  • Pest & Pathogen Ecology for Sustainable Crop Management

NIAB EMR’s concept vineyard

NIAB EMR has planted (2015) a research vineyard for both scientific and demonstration purposes. The vineyard is ensuring that research is directly applicable to commercial vineyards and also provides an essential tool to test upstream innovative practices or novel ideas of research in viticulture.

For Education and Training click here.