Celebrating the 2019 harvest and honouring Dr Piet Goussard with 1659 Medal of Honour

For many years now - the South African Wine industry has been honouring those who have made significant contributions to the industry.
This is done annually at the Wine Harvest Commemorative Event - held in February, at the very beautiful Groot Constantia Wine Estate, to celebrate and acknowledge the first wine made in South Africa, recorded by Jan van Riebeek as 2nd Feb 1659, only 7 years after his arrival in our beautiful country. 

One of the challenges of the wine world is virussed vineyards which do not necessarily yield an optimum or quality crop.  Dr Piet Goussard is the first viticulturist to be honoured and recognised by the 1659 Medal of Honour since its inception in 1974, and it is often these behind-the-scenes people who make the biggest impact on industries.

Dr Goussard has done significant work and his research outputs are well-recognized with some aspects and methodologies still used today in the nursery industries to ensure good quality plant material. He was particularly interested in ways to ensure virus-free propagation materials and dedicated the later part of his academic career to virus elimination strategies using in vitro techniques. 
Involved in the world of wine throughout his career, he retired from the University of Stellenbosch from the Department of Viticulture and Oenology (DVO) in 2010 and is clearly highly respected in the industry, judging by the accolades he received by colleagues and past students.

He has published 70 scientific and popular articles and received several awards, such as the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture’s (SASEV) prestigious Medal of Merit in 2001. He also was the editor of the flagship journal of the Society, the South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture for 15 years. Known as a “walking viticulture encyclopedia”, Prof Goussard published three books in the last eight years, combining his extensive viticulture knowledge and his passion for photography.

The evening was stunning - a hot February evening of 35 degrees, with stylish guests in their finery connecting and enjoying a wonderful wine and food prepared by Simon's at Groot Constantia.
Our Pinotage King - in his fabulous Pinotage bow-tie - was the Master of Ceremonies, and we were treated to some inspiring poetry by Buhle Ngaba, and then at dinner we were lucky enough to have the talented Gugulethu Tenors entertaining us!

Well done to all involved and thanks to Agri-Expo, Vinpro and Die Burger for their contribution.