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​SU viticulture project on climate change featured on CNN
Author: Engela Duvenage
Published: 16/05/2022

​​Stellenbosch University viticulturalists and microbiologists involved in the ClimaVin project can be seen in an insert featured on the international news channel CNN this week. ClimaVin focuses on research about the effect of climate change on the microbial wine terroir.

The insert was first aired this weekend. It will again be broadcast on Monday 16 May 2022 at 18:30 on CNN Inside Africa (DStv channel 401). Other repeats will also follow.

The team features in an insert focusing on innovative sustainability projects within the South African wine and viticulture sector. Other role players and initiatives in the industry will also be highlighted.

ClimaVin is a collaborative project between Stellenbosch University, KU Leuven, the University of the Western Cape, South Africa’s National Research Foundation, the Chinese Academy of Science, the Belgian Science Policy Office and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

A workshop involving partners was recently held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in Stellenbosch. Dr Erna Blancquaert of the SU Department of Viticulture and Oenology among others gave preliminary feedback on their studies on cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Dr Blancquaert is the South African principal investigator for the ClimaVin project. The project is being run under the auspices of the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute (SAGWRI), which is linked to SU.

Other South African collaborators include microbiologists Prof Evodia Setati, also of the SU Department of Viticulture and Oenology, and Dr Arina Hitzeroth of the University of the Western Cape.

“The workshop gave the new postgraduate students from Stellenbosch the opportunity to meet and contextualize their projects within the consortium. The excursion to Bosman Hermanus and Creation wines contributed greatly in the understanding of making terroir specific wines in cool climate,” Dr Blancquaert said afterwards via Creation’s Facebook page.

About the workshop, SU colleague Prof Evodia Setati said the following: "I received some understanding of the real challenges on the farms, the potential impact of recent heatwave events and how our ClimaVin project can help to generate insights on the impact of climate change on grape and wine production."