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Vinpro and Stellenbosh University revive experimental vineyards

Published:  19 September, 2019

Vinpro and Stellenbosch University (SU) have joined forces to drive the revival of its experimental vineyards with the aim of turning it into a “world-class site for practical skills transfer”.

Founded by SU’s Faculty of AgriSciences, the Welgevallen/Vinpro Vineyard Project will see 4.92ha of new vines planted in August 2020, replacing all current vines except for a commercial block that is currently in use.

Six distinct experimental vineyards will be established to demonstrate specific aspects to the students and researchers at the University’s Department of Viticulture and Oenology, including winemaking, trellis systems, pruning, new cultivars, clones and rootstocks, an irrigation block and a table grape trellis programme.

Forming part of SU’s Gen-Z Vineyard Project, which aims to facilitate skills transfer through practical demonstrations and vineyard trails, Vinpro has been appointed to drive the initiative over the next three years.

“It is a privilege for us as an industry to help put together a world-class site that will take tertiary education and training in viticulture and oenology to the next level. We also look forward to the synergies that will flow from this partnership into other areas for collaboration,” said Vinpro MD Rico Basson.

Professor Danie Brink, dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences, added: “By partnering with Vinpro on the Welgevallen renewal project we’ve managed to close to the gap between the academia and the private sector, while creating a platform for innovation and creative learning.”

Suppliers who have come on board thus far include Bosman Adama, Fleury, Hexberg, Vititec and Voor Groenberg Nurseries.