It is constituted as a limited company whose directors are representatives - normally the Chair - from each Region, employing a General Secretary, Robert Cowley, who looks after the day to day running of the organisation. The current Chairman is Paul Langham, of A'Becketts Vineyard in Wiltshire. The President is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The UKVA undertakes functions which are best carried out centrally, on behalf of the Regional Associations, including:
- Email Forum for members The UKVA runs a well-used e-mail forum for members, allowing any member to raise a matter of concern and quickly get responses from others with experience of the problem.
- Information: A regular Technical Bulletin is distributed to members by e-mail and a twice yearly magazine The Grape Press, is distributed by post. Urgent notices are also sent round by e-mail.
- Quality Wine Schemes. Wine quality control to meet EU regulations is administered by Defra. The UKVA is the Recognised Industry Body sponsoring the Quality Schemes. These encompass English and Welsh Wine PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and English and Welsh Regional Wine PGI (Protected Geographical Indicaton) classifications. Details are on the UKVA Website here>> together with a list of UK wines currently holding PDO and PGI status.
- Pesticide advice: The UKVA employs expert advice to monitor the availability of pesticides that have on-label approval for vines and to obtain off-label approvals where important chemicals would not otherwise be available to growers. The UKVA publishes annually its ‘green book’ of such approvals, free to members, giving growers clear guidelines for the safe and legal use of currently-approved pesticides.
- The UK ‘Wine of the Year’ Competition is organised by the UKVA, hosted by each region in turn, with a summer awards ceremony, the "UK wine Oscars" held since 2013 at The House of Commons.
- Occasional Industry Symposia attracting international speakers.
Industry Reports - find them on the UKVA website, including a sustainability strategy designed to enable members to make operate successfully without compromising the quality of life for future generations. In 2011 the UKVA commissioned a benchmarking report on the current economic, environmental and social sustainability of the UK wine industry, with support from the EU-funded DEFRA rural development programme. Further work on sustainability has now been passed over to the Wineskills Programme, run by Plumpton College and similarly funded.
- Membership services are provided either directly by projects such as the vineyards map or through associates such as WSTA for legal advice and credit card facilities
The UKVA is also a member of related organisations, including the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), the NFU and the Confederation of European Independent Winegrowers (CEVI). All UKVA members are eligible for free legal advice offered by WSTA. The UKVA fosters close relations with the Worshipful Company of Vintners, one of the twelve original city livery companies. Vintners Hall is in Upper Thames St in the City of London and provides a spectacular venue for selected UKVA events. Vintners' Hall has a few rooms for overnight accommodation that are available to UKVA members at very reasonable rates.
Membership of the Regional Association / UKVA is voluntary, but growers should not to take too casual an attitude to membership. Those who do not join are being carried by those who do. Unless the UKVA can claim to represent a large part of the industry, it risks being ignored in the negotiations where our future is at stake.