Viticulture & Oenology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Undergraduate Study

BScAgric programme outline and structure in Viticulture and Oenology

This four year degree programme is followed on the main campus in the heart of Stellenbosch. The student has the option of following the Viticulture and Oenology (general) or  Oenology (specialized) programme.

The first year of study entails basic sciences (which are followed in the Faculty of Science) and fundamentals in wine sciences. Second and third year focuses on scientific and technological courses in Viticulture and Oenology. The fourth year students will have the opportunity to complete an industry experience placement in viticulture and oenology. This entails that the students spend a minimum of 6 months with a selected farm. During this 6-month period viticultural and oenological research projects are performed. During the last semester students conclude their degree by focusing on advanced viticultural and oenological perspectives. Upon the completion of this four year-year degree students would be qualified as both a viticulturist and winemaker.

​Subjects, Modules and Module Content

Example:

55565 AGRONOMY

324

16

Pasture management

3L,3P

T

55565 is the subject number; it refers to the subject Agronomy.
324(16) (the 16 will normally be written in brackets) is the module code of the module Agronomy 324(16) with the module subject: Pasture management.

The module code 324(16) has the following meaning:

  • First digit: 3 - refers to the year of study in which the module is presented.
  • Second digit: 2 - is a number to discriminate between modules of the same subject in the same year of study and refers to the semester (unless stated otherwise), according to the following pattern:
  • 1, 2 of 3: modules offered in the first semester;
  • 4, 5 of 6: modules offered in the second semester;
  • 7, 8 of 9: modules offered over two semesters, i.e. a year module
  • Third digit: 4 - has no specific meaning, but can be used to discriminate between different modules of the same subject in the same semester of the same year of study.
  • The number in the second square (otherwise in brackets) (16) - indicates the credit value of the module. Agronomy 324(16) is therefore offered as a module during the first semester of the third year and a student will acquire 16 credits on completion.
  • The teaching load of each module is indicated in brackets.

The following abbreviations are used:

  • L              - lectures lasting 50 minutes each (e.g. 1L, 2L)
  • P              - practical periods lasting 50 minutes each (e.g. 1P, 2P, 3P)
  • S              - seminar lasting 50 minutes (e.g. 1S)
  • T              - tutorials lasting 50 minutes each (e.g. 1T, 2T)

In the last square the language specification of each module is indicated. The following specifications are used:

A  Specification

  • Prescribed textbooks are in Afrikaans and/or English.
  • Class notes drawn up by the lecturer are
    • fully in Afrikaans, or
    • where possible, fully in Afrikaans and fully/partially (e.g. core class notes) also in English.
  • Other compulsory reading material (e.g. scholarly journals, books, etc.) is in Afrikaans and/or English.
  • Module frameworks and study guides drawn up by the lecturer are in Afrikaans and, where possible, are provided in Afrikaans and English to students whose language of preference for study is English.
  • Transparencies and data-projector contents used by the lecturer in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals are in Afrikaans and/or English.
  • The oral communication language of the lecturer in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals is primarily Afrikaans, but key terms and concepts may be explained briefly in English. Students asking questions in English may be answered in English by the lecturer. Guest lectures by overseas and/or South African lecturers with an inadequate academic language proficiency in Afrikaans may be delivered in English.
  • Test and examination question papers are fully in Afrikaans and fully in English on the same question paper.
  • Written assignments from lecturers for tutorials, seminars and practicals, when used for assessment purposes, are fully in Afrikaans and fully in English on the same handout.
  • Written answers by students to test and examination questions and assignments may be in Afrikaans or English.
  • Oral presentations by students in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals may be in Afrikaans or English.

T Specification

  • Prescribed textbooks are in Afrikaans and/or English.
  • Class notes drawn up by the lecturer are
    • fully in Afrikaans and fully in English, or
    • alternately in Afrikaans and English
  • Other compulsory reading material (e.g. scholarly journals, books, etc.) is in Afrikaans and/or English.
  • Module frameworks and study guides are
    • fully in Afrikaans and fully in English, or
    • alternately in Afrikaans and English depending on the language of oral communication of the lecturer in the particular classes.
  • Transparencies and data-projector contents used by the lecturers in lectures, seminar classes, tutorials and practicals are in Afrikaans.
  • The oral communication language of the lecturer in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals is
    • in the same class Afrikaans and English, with the proviso that the use of Afrikaans must be at least 50%, or
    • alternately Afrikaans and English in different classes of the module or programme, with the proviso that the use of Afrikaans must be at least 50%.
  • Test and examination question papers are fully in Afrikaans and fully in English on the same question paper.
  • Written assignments from lecturers for tutorials, seminars and practicals, when used for assessment purposes, are
    • fully in Afrikaans and fully in English in the same handout, or
    • alternately in Afrikaans and English depending on the material not for assessment purposes (class notes, module frameworks, study guides, etc.) where the average use of Afrikaans must be at least 50%.
  • Written answers by students to test and examination questions and assignments may be in Afrikaans or English.
  • Oral presentations by students in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals in the T specification may be in Afrikaans or English according to their preferred academic language.

E Specification​

  • Prescribed textbooks are in English.
  • Class notes drawn up by the lecturer are fully in English or, where possible, fully in English and fully/partially (e.g. core class notes) also in Afrikaans.
  • Other compulsory reading material (e.g. scholarly journals, books etc.) is in English and/or Afrikaans.
  • Module frameworks and study guides drawn up by the lecturer are in English and, where possible, are provided in English and Afrikaans to students whose language of preference for study is Afrikaans.
  • Transparencies and data-projector contents used by the lecturer in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals are in English.
  • The oral communication language of the lecturer in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals is primarily English, but key terms and concepts may be explained briefly in Afrikaans. Students asking questions in Afrikaans may be answered in Afrikaans by the lecturer. Afrikaans is not compulsory in the case of overseas lecturers.
  • Test and examination question papers are fully in English and fully in Afrikaans on the same question paper.
  • Written assignments from lecturers for tutorials, seminars and practicals, when used for assessment purposes, are fully in English and fully in Afrikaans on the same handout.
  • Written answers by students to test and examination questions and assignments may be in Afrikaans or English.
  • Oral presentations by students in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals may be in English or Afrikaans.

Requisites

After the description of the content of the module, the prerequisite pass, prerequisite and/or corequisite module(s) are/is given for that module. The following abbreviations are used:

  • PP- Prerequisite Pass module.
  • P- Prerequisite module.
  • C- Corequisite module.

The following definitions apply:

  • A prerequisite pass module is a module which students must have passed before they are allowed to take the module(s) for which it is a prerequisite pass module.
  • A prerequisite module is a module in which students must have achieved a class mark of at least 40, or a final mark of at least 40 in the case of a module subject to continuous assessment, before they are allowed to take the module for which it is a prerequisite module.
  • A corequisite module is a module which students must take in the same academic year as the module for which it is a corequisite, or in an earlier academic year.
  • Note: No qualification will be awarded unless the candidate has passed all the relevant prerequisite and corequisite modules.

​ 

BScAgric Viticulture and Oenology (General)

Bachelor's programme in Food and Wine Production Systems (BScAgric)

Viticulture and Oenology General

​First Year (132 credits)

Compulsory Modules

 Biology 124 (16) - Cell Biology

Origin and early history of life. Cytology. Cell chemistry, biological membranes and cellular respiration. Fixation, transfer and expression of genetic information. Evolution. Presented by the Departments of Biochemistry, of Botany and Zoology and of Genetics

 Biology 154 (16) - Functional Biology

Plant anatomy and morphology. Photosynthesis. Water relations and phloem transport. Functional biology of animals. Introduction to biotechnology. Presented by the Departments of Botany and Zoology and of Genetics

C Biology 124 and

C Chemistry 124, 144 (not applicable to Stream Biomathematics, option 2: Ecology)

Chemistry 124(16) - Fundamental Principles of Chemistry I

Matter and its properties; chemical formulae; stoichiometry; solution stoichiometry and reactions in aqueous solution; thermodynamics: energy, enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy; atomic structure and bonding; molecular geometry and structure according to Lewis and VSEPR; intermolecular forces; chemical kinetics.  Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

Chemistry 144(16) - Fundamental Principles of Chemistry II

​Chemical equilibrium (both quantitative and qualitative), with applications in acid-base and precipitation reactions of aqueous solutions; an introductory study of organic compounds with a variety of functional groups; reaction mechanisms; stereochemistry; polymerisation. Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

C Chemistry 124

Computer Skills 171 (4) - Computer Skills

Study load: 26 lectures in total, presented as 2L per week for 13 weeks, distributed over the year.  Introduction to general computer usage with the focus on the development of skills in using software for word processing, skills in using spreadsheets to perform calculations in creating meaningful graphs and and skills in using presentation software.  An optional test can be written during the first term to obtain exemption from the module.  The class mark will serve as the final mark.  Home department: COMPUTER SCIENCE

Crop Production 152 (8) - Introduction to applied plant science

Classification systems and classification of agricultural crops; structure of plants of agricultural significance; plant growth regulators; ecological principals and introductory agricultural ecology.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

Mathematics (Bio) 124 (16) - Mathematics for the Biological Sciences

​Functions and their inverses: polynomial functions, rational functions, power functions, exponential functions, trigonometric functions. Solution of trigonometric equations. Composition of functions. Limits. Definition of the derivative of a function. Continuity. Rules of differentiation, certain formulae. Higher order derivatives. Implicit differentiation. Applications of differentiation: processes of growth and decay, graph sketching, optimisation problems. Indefinite integrals. Techniques of integration: substitution, integration by parts. The definite integral as the limit of a sum. The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Definite integrals as areas. Solution and use of simple differential equations.  Home department: MATHEMATICS

Oenology 142 (8) - Introduction to grape and wine science

Basic  grape morphology and production directions. Wine grape cultivars. An introduction to the composition of grapes, must and wine, as well as micro-organisms in winemaking. The fundamentals of alcoholic fermentation, cellar equipment and production methods. An introduction to wine styles and wine evaluation.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

 

Physics (Bio) 134 (16) - Introductory Physics for Biological Sciences A

Selected topics, relevant to the biological sciences, from introductory mechanics, hydro-statics and -dynamics, oscillations, waves, optics.  Home department: PHYSICS

Physics (Bio) 154 (16) - Introductory Physics for Biological Sciences B

Selected topics, relevant to the biological sciences, from introductory electricity, magnetism, thermodynamics, gas laws, atomic physics, radioactivity.  Home department: PHYSICS

P Physics (Bio) 134


​Second Year (144 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Biochemistry 214(16) - Structure, Function Relationships

Structures, characteristics and functions of bio-molecules (bio-elements, water, nucleic acids, proteins, enzymes, coenzymes, carbohydrates, lipids).  Continuous assessment.  Home department: BIOCHEMISTRY

PP Chemistry 114 or 154 and a final mark of at least 40% in the remaining Chemistry module

PP Biology 124


Biochemistry 244(16) - Intermediary Metabolism

​Bioenergetics; metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and nitrogenous compounds; integration of metabolism.  Continuous assessment.  Home department: BIOCHEMISTRY

P Biochemistry 214

Biometry  212(8) - Introductory biometry

Methods of tabulation and graphical representation of data; descriptive measures of locality, variation and association; simple linear regression; the elementary principles of randomness, distributions, sampling and estimation; contingency tables and chi-square tests; calculation of standard errors; F-test for heterogeneity of variance.  Home department: GENETICS

P Mathematics (Bio) 124 or

P Mathematics 114

Biometry 242(8) - Applications in biometry

Treatment and experimental design; efficiency of estimation; analysis of variance; hypothesis tests for means and differences between means: F-test, t-test, Student's LSD; confidence intervals; non-parametric tests; multiple linear regression.  Home department: GENETICS

PP Biometry 212

Crop Protection 244(16) - Introductory Plant Pathology and Entomology

​The nature and causes of plant diseases, the impact of pathogens and pests on agriculture, the biology of important pathogens and pests, factors influencing disease development, diagnosis of plant diseases and principles of plant disease control.  Subject to continuous assessment.  Home department: CONSERVATION ECOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY

Oenology 214(16) - The wine trade

​The global wine trade; trends, countries and forecasts, production and consumption.  The SA wine trade; industry structure in SA; legal issues and licensing.  Understanding SA consumer preferences, brand loyalty, product developments.  Devising and using component recognition tests, discrimination tests, paired comparisons, triangular tests.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Chemistry 114

P Crop Production 152

P Oenology 142

Oenology 244(16) - Wines of the world, South African wines and brandies and regulations

Wines of the world. Evaluation of wines. The South African wine industry: Wine of Origin system, legislation and regulations. Industrial health and safety in a winemaking context. Introduction to brandy and sparkling-wine production basics.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Crop Production 152

P Oenology 142, 214

Soil Science 214(16) - Introduction to Soil Science

Soil as a three-dimensional unit; soil formation factors: climate, parent material, relief, organisms and time; weathering processes and products; physical properties of soil: texture, structure, colour, air-water-temperature relationships; chemical properties of soil: soil colloids, clay minerals, cation adsorption and exchange, soil reaction; formation and properties of soil organic material; elementary interpretation and evaluation of physical, chemical and morphological soil characteristics for resource use.  Home department: SOIL SCIENCES

P Chemistry 154

Soil Science 244(16) -  Plant nutrition and fertilization

Composition and nutrition of plants; individual plant nutrient elements; equilibria in the soil; fertilisers: their characteristics and uses; determination of fertiliser requirements and fertiliser application in practice; interaction with rhizosphere and pedosphere organisms.  Home department: SOIL SCIENCES

P Soil Science 214

P Chemistry 114, 154

Viticulture 214(16) - Wine grape cultivars and their establishment and maintenance; grapevine abnormalities

Origin, morphology, description, identification and cultivation properties of wine grape cultivars. Anatomical and morphological abnormalities associated with abiotic and biotic factors (including specific virus and virus-like diseases) an​d their identification under field conditions. Establishment of a vineyard: planting of vines, young vine development. Vineyard maintenance: winter pruning based on biological principles.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

 

Third Year (144 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Oenology 314(16) - Pre-fermentation processing of grapes and must

Harvesting and handling of grapes, must and skins and determining of harvest readiness. Composition of grapes, must and wine, as well as physical and chemical analyses thereof, must adjustments and appropriate legislation, enzymes. Cellar technology used in pre-fermentation processing, including methods for temperature control and colour extraction. Brandy and sparkling base wine production.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Oenology 244

P Chemistry 114, 154

Oenology 342(8) - Post-fermentation operations

Fining and clarification of wine: fining trials, filtration of wine. Bottling principles. Wine faults. Blending of wines and evaluation.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Oenology 314

Oenology 344(16) - Applied wine microbiology

Applied aspects of yeasts, moulds and bacteria during vinification; yeast physiology; yeast and bacterial metabolic pathways; malolactic fermentation; production of aroma and flavour compounds; microbial spoilage of wines.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

C Oenology 314

C Biochemistry 214, 244

Viticulture 314(16), Table and raisin grape production, packaging and storage

Table and raisin grape production: the global industries, cultivars, production practices, spring/summer manipulations, pre-harvest physiology. Harvest and packaging, cooling and storage, post-harvest quality factors.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Crop Production 152

C Viticulture 214

Viticulture 322(8) - Grapevine physiology

Molecular biology and biochemistry of core processes in grapevines and their hormonal control; grapevine vegetative growth and phenology; physiology of dormancy, nitrogen and carbon assimilation, reproductive growth and ripening, vine water status.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Crop Production 152

C Viticulture 214

Viticulture 344(16) - Plant material improvement, propagation and cultivation

Improvement of grapevine material (importance, methods, schemes), success of improved material. Vegetative propagation: collection, storage (material), multiplication, grafting techniques, nursery layout and facilities, physiology and anatomy of graft union healing, top-grafting methods. Rootstock cultivars. Plant spacing (utilisation of above- and below ground space). Light environment and canopy management, trellis systems.   Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Viticulture 214


​Elective Modules

And (with consideration of prerequisites) four of the following six modules:

Entomology 314(16) - Insect pest management

​Origin and types of insect pests; analysis of an insect problem; methods of control: Biological control, lures, sterilants, juvenile hormones, resistant plants, agrotechnical methods, legislative measures and chemical control; properties and testing of pesticides; pest management. Biology and control of key pests.  Subject to continuous assessment.  Home department: CONSERVATION ECOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY

Nematology 344(16) - Plant nematology

​An introduction to Nematology, which includes plant and insect parasitic nematodes. Morphological characteristics of diagnostic value, reproduction and biology in general. Agricultural control of plant parasitic nematodes and the control of insects by using insect parasitic nematodes. Identification and biology of specific plant parasitic and insect nematode genera of economic importance. Extraction techniques and identification of life specimens by means of light microscopy.  Home department: CONSERVATION ECOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY

Plant Pathology 314(16) - Plant disease dynamics

​Components of plant diseases, such as the plant pathogens that cause them, the host factors that influence their development, and the environmental conditions that favour them. Diseases of national and international importance and the damage they have caused to food production in the world. The dynamics of pathogens associated with seed and nursery plants, as well as those causing soil-borne, foliar and fruit diseases before harvest, and decay and damage after harvest.  Home department: PLANT PATHOLOGY

Plant Pathology 344(16) - Plant disease management

The underlying principles and methods used for plant disease control from pre-planting to post-harvest. This includes the role of plant quarantine, disease certification and cultivation practices on disease development, and on the epidemiological considerations for plant disease forecasting and disease assessment. Emphasis is placed on plant disease resistance, and chemical and biological control, either as primary control strategies or as components of an integrated disease control programme, to ensure efficient and sustainable protection against a diverse range of pathogens.  Home department: PLANT PATHOLOGY

PP Plant Pathology 314

Soil Science 314(16) Genesis, morphology, classification and uses of soil

Development and classification of South African soils; terrain classification; soil and land mapping; methodology of soil and land suitability evaluation with special reference to crop suitability; soil use planning; soil erosion and its control.  Home department: SOIL SCIENCES

P Soil Science 214

P Chemistry 114 and 154

Soil Science 344(16) Soil and water management

Soil as storage medium for plant water; atmospheric energy balance: evaporation, transpiration and plant water requirements; soil water uptake and water loss in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum; hydrological cycle and water resources in South Africa; methods of irrigation and irrigation scheduling; irrigation with saline water and salt balance in the soil; irrigation backflow; elimination and management of physical, morphological and chemical limitations of soil; principles of drainage; soil surface management.  Home department: SOIL SCIENCES

P Soil Science 214, 244, 314

P Mathematics (Bio) 124

 

Fourth Year (128 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Oenology 444(16) - Applied oenology

Chromatographic and spectral techniques for wine analysis, including HPLC, GC, UV/vis spectrophotometry, infrared spectrophotometric analyses (FOSS); advanced sensory and statistical analyses of datasets, as well as interpretation of research results; exposure to scientific investigations; brandy distillation and maturation; development of critical and evaluative scientific thinking through group work, designing and carrying out experiments, presentations, writing projects; fault recognition and analysis by sensory and chemical means.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Oenology 314, 344

Oenology 454(16) - Wine maturation and quality systems

Wood chemistry, phenols in grapes and wine, aging reactions, oxidation and reduction reactions, quality control systems, cooling systems, environmental management systems, product development, protein and cold stabilisation, stability tests in wine; brandy maturation.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Oenology 314, 344

Oenology 478(32) - Oenology internship

​Identification and solving of a problem in the cellar or design of a product or system. Learning activities include involvement in all commercial cellar activities during the harvest season, conducting of experiments in the cellar, data gathering and processing, complete project reporting.  Subject to continuous assessment.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

PP Oenology 314

P Oenology 342, 344

Viticulture 444(16) - Advanced perspectives on wine and table grape cultivation

Global perspectives on vineyard cultivation; geographical indications; site selection, vineyard planning and modern/alternative vineyard practices. Advanced table grape cultivation practices.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

PP Viticulture 314, 322, 344

C Viticulture 454, 478

Viticulture 454(16) - Advanced vineyard management

Human resource and supply chain management; strategies for fertilisation with macro- and micronutrients; irrigation regimes for optimal production of wine grapes and table grapes; biology of weed growth and reproduction, strategies for weed control; management of vineyard pest and diseases.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

PP Viticulture 314, 322, 344

C Viticulture 444, 478

Viticulture 478(32) - Viticulture internship

​Practical viticultural experience in the wine and table grape industry. Experience in all aspects of commercial vineyard management and the industry are acquired. Identification and solving of a problem or design of a product or system in the workplace. Learning activities include the conducting of experiments in the field, data acquisition and analysis, testing, complete project reporting.  Subject to continuous assessment.  Home department: VITICULTURE AND OENOLOGY

P Viticulture 314, 344

C Viticulture 322, 444, 454


​BScAgric Viticulture and Oenology (Specialized)

First Year (132 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Same modules as Viticulture and Oenology (General). 

 

​Second Year (144 credits)

Compulsory Modules

Same modules as Viticulture and Oenology (General) except that students do the following modules:

Chemistry 214(16) - Analytical Chemistry

Reaction mechanisms, including nucleophilic addition and substitution, elimination, electrophilic addition, electrophilic aromatic substitution; stereochemistry.  Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

PP Chemistry 114, 154


Chemistry 244(16) - Inorganic Chemistry

Periodic trends; structure and bonding in molecules; structure and bonding in solids; chemistry in solution; main group elements. Coordination chemistry: Introduction, types of ligands, nomenclature; isomerism in coordination compounds; different geometries; formation constants; crystal field theory.  Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

PP Chemistry 114


Third Year (128 credits)

Compulsory Modules

​Chemistry 224(16) – Analytical Chemistry

Introduction to classical analytical chemistry; errors and uncertainty in analytical data; basic statistical methods; volumetric methods (acid-base, redox and complexometric analysis); introduction to analytical molecular spectroscopy, UV/visible and infrared spectrophotometry. An introduction to separation science with emphasis on chromatography.   Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

PP Chemistry 114, 154 and

P Mathematics 114, 144 or

P Mathematics (Bio) 124 or

P Engineering Mathematics 115, 145

 

Chemistry 334(16) - Inorganic Chemistry

Stereochemical non-rigidity; structure and strength correlations for acids and bases; industrial importance; structure and reactivity of transition metal complexes; selective complexation; kinetics and mechanisms of selected reactions; the role of metal complexes in biological systems; introduction to organometallic chemistry; the synthesis and characterisation of inorganic compounds (practicals).  Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

PP Chemistry 244

Chemistry 344(16) - Organic Chemistry

Advanced systematic acyclic and aromatic chemistry; stereochemistry; syntheses.  Home department: CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER SCIENCE

PP Chemistry 214

 

Fourth Year (128 credits)

Compulsory Modules

​Same modules as Viticulture and Oenology (General).