Dr Belinda Kemp

Dr Belinda Kemp
Group Leader - Viticulture and Oenology Research
+44 (0) 1732 325761 / +44 (0) 7395 795496

The Group Leader provides scientific leadership in viticulture and oenology research and development of the Wine Innovation Centre.

Belinda gained her PhD in 2010 at Lincoln University, New Zealand, studying Pinot noir tannin, flavour, aroma, and sensory characteristics of red wine. Belinda joined the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) in Ontario, Canada as Principal Scientist from 2013 until 2023, where her research focused on applied aspects of sparkling wine production such as impact of dosage composition on sparkling wine flavour, the influence of grapevine clones and soil types on sparkling wine flavour, and Maillard reaction-associated flavours in sparkling wine. As well as a scientist, Belinda has gained practical winemaking in commercial wineries in New Zealand and the UK.

In 2023, she joined NIAB in the role of Group Leader for Viticulture and Oenology Research at the new Wine innovation Centre in East Malling, Kent, UK. Her current research encompasses vineyard to final sparkling wine research that includes regenerative viticulture practices, Net Zero grape growing, to sparkling wine flavour and cool climate still winemaking. Currently the Chair of the International Cool Climate Regenerative Viticulture Network (ICCRV) and the UK Technical Expert at the International Organisation for Vine and Wine (OIV). She organises the newly launched viticulture and oenology research focused membership clubs at NIAB including The Vine Club for applied research for grape growers, Fizz Club UK for sparkling wine producers, and the White and Red Club for still wine producers.

Current projects

Current viticulture research includes a Growing Kent and Medway funded study to identify grapevine diseases in vineyards using satellite imagery and machine learning (ML) in collaboration with Deep Planet Ltd, Chapel Down, Albury Vineyard, Rathfinny Wine Estate Ltd, Nyetimber Ltd, and Gusbourne Estate Ltd. A pruning project focused on Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Bacchus varieties funded by Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) and supported by The Worshipful Company of Vintners is underway alongside a study of preventative techniques to eliminate Botrytis damage in vineyards.

A major focus of our vineyard research from 2024 is regenerative viticulture and achieving Net Zero vineyard and winery targets with new, innovative projects commencing.

Our oenological research is focused on sustainable winemaking practices including the study of nitrogen levels from soil, to grapes and onto base wines, wine tartrate stabilisation techniques, red winemaking with a range of grape varieties, manipulating the flavour development of sparkling base wines, winemaking technology, and an investigation into new uses for winery waste materials for circular vineyards. Winemaking experiments are currently being undertaken in the Wine Innovation Centre for individual UK wineries and companies alongside laboratory-based projects.


Recent publications

Full publication list on Google Scholar and ORCiD.