Viticulture & Oenology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Research & Focus Areas


​​​​The main objective of the research activities within the DVO is to contribute to enabling the South African industry to produce wines and vineyard products of a high quality with the aid of environmentally friendly technology in the most cost-effective manner. Industry-linked research that can be implemented by means of technology transfer to the industry is undertaken at all times.​​


Grapevine cultivation; Grapevine and climate

Dr Albert Strever

Plant management and remote sensing; Grapevine physiology

Grapevine physiologyProf Kobus HunterGrapevine metabolism and cultivation
Table grape productionMrs Eunice Avenant

Viticultural aspects of table grape production (rootstocks, dormancy management, plant bioregulators); Water use efficiency

Ecophysiology of berry ripeningDr Erna BlancquaertBerry growth, composition and quality, disease and fruit genetics.
Precision ViticultureDr Carlos Poblete-Echeverria

Modelling of water consumption, stress detection, development of new computational and technological tools for precision viticulture. Studies of climate change impacts on viticulture


Wine microbiology

Prof Maret du Toit

Prof Florian Bauer

Malolactic fermentation and its role in winemaking; Microbial spoilage of wine

Yeast, alcoholic fermentation, aroma production

Wine chemistry

Prof Wessel du Toit

Wine ageing, aroma, wood, phenolics, oxidation, and sensory of wine

Ms Marianne McKay

Wine aroma. Smoke taint and volatile phenols. Teaching methodologies: Innovative and transformative learning in science.

Cellar technology

Mr Riaan Wassung

Winemaking, wine apparatus


Grapevine molecular biology and biotechnology

Prof Melané Vivier; Dr Philip Young; Dr John Moore;  

Molecular and metabolite profiling of vines in vineyard settings


Wine Biotechnology

Prof Florian Bauer​

Yeast molecular and cellular biology

Dr Benoit Divol

Microbial interactions and spoilage – impact of microorganisms on wine properties

Prof Maret du Toit

Molecular biology of wine lactic acid bacteria and interaction with wine yeasts

Dr Evodia Setati

Using metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches to study diversity and mine novel biocatalysts


Analytical chemistry 
Advanced chemical-analytical techniques in viticulture, oenology and biotechnology

Dr Hélène Nieuwoudt


Focus on non-destructive infrared spectroscopic analytical techniques and data processing,wine sensory profiling, sensometrics, consumer perception

Prof Antonio Ferreira

Flavour chemistry focus on the chemical definition to wine quality. metabolomics

Dr Astrid Buica

Sample preparation, chromatography, untargeted approaches and data handling for information rich techniques (IR, UV/VIS,MS etc)