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Who We Are / Our Mission / Our Organisation / Our Executive Team

Our Executive Team

Nicola Bates, Chief Executive Officer

Nicola is the CEO of WineGB and manages the Executive Team. She works with the membership to understand their requirements, to ensure that services are provided, and to represent their collective needs to the industry, media and political audiences.

She joined in October 2023, from the Portman Group, the alcohol social responsibility and marketing regulator of the UK. Nicola has extensive senior leadership experience, including as a Board member – from across politics, commercial consultancy, charity, and membership bodies – and during her career has also worked in recruitment and communications positions.

Nicola is an advisor to Only a Pavement Away, a charity that connects the hospitality sector with employees who have been homeless, former service personnel, or prisoners. She has also founded a number of support networks, most recently being the Chair of the Women in Trade Associations Powerlist with the Federation of Small Businesses, Confederation of British Industry and the Trade Association Forum.

Working Groups

Sitting alongside the WineGB Executive Team is a collection of groups with expertise in specific areas of our industry. The purpose of these groups is to advise the Board and Executive Team on policy and the latest industry developments. The groups are also responsible for generating content for webinars and conferences, as well as driving the industry forward and ensuring we are up to date with the latest innovations.

Chair: Matt Strugnell (Ridgeview)

Key activity: Vine Imports, Green Book, PPP advice, practical advice and guidance, webinar and conference programme, vintage reports.

Winemaking Technical
Chair: Nick Blampied-Lane (Defined Wine)

Key activity: Winery best practice, latest innovations, quality guidance, webinar and conference programme, workshops.

Sustainability Council
Council Chair: Nicola Bates (WineGB)
Chair of Sustainable Viticulture: Alex Valsecchi (Albury Organic Vineyard)
Co-Chairs of Sustainable Winemaking: Sarah Midgley (Plumpton College) and Simon Roberts (Ridgeview)

Key activity: SWGB Scheme administration and education, newsletters, webinars, workshops, accreditation, promotion.

Research and Development
Chair: Alistair Nesbitt (Vinescapes)

Key activity: Coordination of research topics and research library. Linking all industry research projects.

Chair: Julia Trustram Eve (WineGB)

Key activity: Showcasing best practice, providing insights and examples to help build wine tourism and DTC sales. Establishing and maintaining links to VisitBritain and travel industry.

Sales and Marketing
Chair: Gary Smith (MDCV)

Key activity: WineGB events and PR strategy, campaigns like English Wine Week, brand guidelines.

Export Council
Chair: Chris Unger (Hattingley Valley)

Key activity: Coordinating a programme of collective activity for key markets; links to DIT, FCDO teams.

Education and Training
Chair: Jeremy Kerswell (Plumpton College)

Key activity: Main interface between WineGB and Plumpton, working to build long-term capabilities for our sector.

Political Engagement
Chair: Nicola Bates (WineGB)

Key activity: Working with APPG and government departments to ensure our industry’s voice is heard on key matters such as labour, Excise Duty and legislation.