Characterising and adapting to climate risks in the UK wine sector (Webinar)

UK Climate Resilience Programme webinar series

21 October 2020, 12.00-13.00

Speakers: Declan Conway (Grantham Research Institute, LSE) with Dr Alistair Nesbitt (Vinescapes), Dr Kate Gannon (GRI), Prof Steve Dorling (University of East Anglia)

Chair: Suraje Dessai

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The overall trajectory of recent change in climate has been positive for UK wine production and very grape-friendly growing conditions during 2018 contributed to a record harvest. However, year to year fluctuations in climate still lead to relatively low and variable yields, which threaten both sustainability and growth opportunities within the sector.

In this webinar we present how projected trends and variability in the growing season climate out to 2040 may support further opportunities for the UK’s most dominant wine grape variety – Pinot Noir – as a means of boosting the sector’s resilience to future climate change. We set these projections in a decision context by considering the extent to which this rapidly growing sector is integrating climate risk into its development, and the ways in which perceptions of climate risk are informing producer decision making. Our findings are complemented by an on the ground perspective from a wine producer.



Dr Alistair Nesbitt (CEO Vinescapes) is a Viticulture Climatologist with significant expertise in how weather and climate interface with wine production, globally. He holds a PhD in viticulture and climate science and draws on 20-years’ experience in helping UK wine production businesses establish and operate sustainably.

Dr Kate Gannon (Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics) is a social scientist and her work focuses on climate change adaptation within the private sector.

Professor Steve Dorling (University of East Anglia) is a Chartered Meteorologist with interests in how weather and climate interface with environmental problems. Current research activities address science which tackles the over-lapping security challenges facing the world in food, water and energy.

Professor Declan Conway (Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics) is a geographer with research interests across water, climate and society. His work has a strong focus on adaptation and the water-energy-food nexus.

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