NEWS: UK wine industry sees establishment of new research consortium

25 Jul 2016


A new viticulture consortium comprising NIAB EMR and the leading UK vineyards Chapel Down, Nyetimber and Gusbourne Estate was launched at the Fruit Focus Event, (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 quality of UK wines has dramatically increased this last decade,” commented Dr Julien Lecourt, NIAB EMR’s Technical Leader on Viticulture. He continued, “Further improvements in viticulture will enable the wider expansion and production of the finest quality, globally-recognised, unique wines and equally importantly, an increase in winemakers’ margins.”

Drawing on the current multi-million pound research programmes across NIAB and a century of R&D success at East Malling in supporting global fruit production, the consortium is seeking to embed and build on the industry’s existing achievements through focussed research and development activity aimed at improved quality, reducing costs and creation of a globally recognised UK science-based viticulture sector.

Initial activity by the consortium has been to oversee the planting of a unique research trial vineyard which is custom designed to facilitate eight existing and many new scientific projects being planned.

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.

East Malling Viticulture Research Consortium

From left to right: The East Malling Viticulture Research Consortium including: Jon Pollard (Gusbourne Estate), Ben Kantsler (Nytimber), Julien Lecourt (NIAB EMR, technical leader of the consortium), Richard Lewis (Chapel Down) and Geoff Taylor (Camden BRI, chairman of the consortium)