Research and Development


Research and Development forms part of Winetech’s four core functions, which also include Knowledge Transfer, Innovation, and Learning and Development.

Winetech funds research that will contribute to the profitability, international competitiveness, and sustainability of the South African wine industry. Its strategic focus is to achieve and maintain a research distribution of 20% fundamental research, 60% applied research and 20% innovation research. It is not always possible to categorise projects exclusively into one of these categories and projects are therefore categorised where their nature predominantly resides.


Winetech operates on a committee system, comprising industry representatives, which carefully evaluates each research proposal received to ensure the project has industry relevance. These committees convene three times a year to discuss concept proposals, new project applications, progress reports of running projects and final reports of completed projects.

Flagship Programmes

Winetech recently started focusing on flagship programmes. The idea was to co-create targeted research projects to address relevant industry and research problems. A different approach was followed in the sense that numerous think tanks were held with groups of researchers and industry members to really identify the critical research needs that would benefit industry.

Based on this, research projects were specifically formulated to address the specific issues. Within each programme, all the individual projects tie into each other to provide more comprehensive outcomes.

The goal is to encourage collaboration among researchers and organisations in order to use resources and funds most effectively. Often multidisciplinary approaches also create better solutions. Winetech’s aim is to provide industry with novel solutions that demonstrate the value of effective collaboration activities.

Current Flagship Programmes

Climate Change

Water Efficiency

Plant Breeding

Viticulture main research themes
  • Grapevine optimum performance
  • Health of Vitis
  • Soil sustainability for wine grapes
Viticulture specialist committees
  • Grapevine Improvement
  • Terroir
  • Soil and water
  • Cultivation
  • Grapevine protection – Fungi and bacteria
  • Grapevine protection – Insects and pests
Oenology main research themes
  • Process improvement
  • Quality improvement
  • Method development
Oenology specialist committees
  • Process improvement
  • Quality improvement
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER specialist committee
  • Technology transfer

Research Partners

Research Library

Funding Application