Here come the PIWIs

PIWI is a German abbreviation for Pilzwiderstandsfähig – which essentially means fungal resistant. These grape varieties have been bred and selected to have a high resistance to fungal diseases, so reducing the cost of inputs. Vineyard finds out why these innovative grape varieties have an important future in UK wine production. 

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A leading light

The proverb ‘great oaks from little acorns grow’ is fitting for the short but spectacular story of Llanerch vineyard’s success.  At just 24 years old Ryan Davies bought one of the oldest vineyards in Wales with the vision of creating a tourism-driven vineyard business inspired by those he had seen on his antipodean travels. Vineyard discovers how, in Just 10 years, Llanerch has become an international visitor destination with award-winning restaurant, hotel, wedding and conference facilities – and is also leading the way with new viticulture technology.

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Building resilience in a perfect storm

Great Britain is an island of weather with many different and competing patterns – and to top that we are now dealing with climate change.  Dr Alistair Nesbitt is a Viticulture Climatologist with significant expertise in how weather and climate interface with wine production. He is based in the UK but advises globally and holds the UK’s first PhD in Viticulture and Climate Science. Vineyard asks Alistair what the likely changes to our growing conditions will be, which opportunities and threats face our industry – and how producers can become more resilient to the changes of the future. 

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Naturally adventurous

Quietly getting on with producing some of the country’s top award-winning wines is Oxney, the UK’s largest single organic estate, tucked away near Rye in rural East Sussex. The focus is on organic production, low intervention winemaking, preserving the soils and treading lightly on the environment. Many may see organic production as an impossible challenge – but Vineyard finds out how Oxney’s resourceful and imaginative approach is resetting the expectations of organic wine production in England – with soils, sheep and silence. 

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