Research Themes


Our overall research programme covers the following 4 themes:

Improved grape and wine production and practices


  1. Investigating new production methods and practices in grape-growing and winemaking
  2. Understanding and managing the quality/quantity trade-off
  3. Using genetics to improve flavour, productivity and resilience, including disease resistance
  4. Enhancing flavour and aroma through analysing, understanding and managing the components of wine
  5. Improved management of water, waste-water and waste streams

Protecting our terroir, provenance and eco-systems


  1. Understanding and adapting to climate change
  2. Understanding, preventing and managing biosecurity risks
  3. Identifying and preserving our unique winegrowing provenance
  4. Improving soil and vineyard health and disease management
  5. Best-practice agrichemical use, including glyphosate alternatives
  6. ‘Fingerprinting’ of wines for authentication of provenance

Leading markets and the supply chain


  1. Preserving New Zealand’s wine quality image
  2. Understanding consumer behaviour and motives in new or existing markets
  3. Delivering new and novel wine styles and varieties
  4. Analysing and understanding the chemical components of wine that are critical to improving quality during storage and transport to market
  5. Identifying the commercial benefits of streamlining supply chains through value chain analysis
  6. Global benchmarking of health and wellbeing trends

Developing innovative, transformative technology


  1. Developing innovative technology for increased automation, including robotics and AI
  2. Investigating opportunities from Blockchain Technology
  3. Developing innovative decision-making tools – moving from precision horticulture to decision horticulture
  4. Investigating modelling techniques to improve understanding of winegrowing
  5. Developing seismic/natural hazard resilience tools and technology

Research Priorities


Our overall research programme covers the following 4 theme areas.

Following a process of consultation with New Zealand wine industry members and researchers, our research priorities have been identified as:

  1. Improving sustainability of grape-growing and winemaking
  2. Improving productivity while maintaining quality
  3. Managing and mitigating risks from pests and diseases
  4. Understanding implications of climate change and adaptation options
  5. Developing new wine styles
  6. Reducing input costs and addressing labour scarcity
  7. Profiling to better understand quality and for traceability and authentication

Our portfolio of research ranges from applied, shorter-term work to more fundamental, higher-risk and longer-term projects, guided by the industry’s current and future needs.