Stellenbosch University
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University’s wine shines with a double gold Veritas medal
Author: Engela Duvenage
Published: 14/10/2019

A wine from Stellenbosch University's Welgevallen Cellar that was produced by winemaker and cellar master Riaan Wassung was commended at the 29th Veritas Vertex Awards. The “Die Laan Merlot Reserve 2017" was the only Merlot among the 1491 total entrees in this year's competition to receive a double gold medal.

To be awarded a double gold medal, a wine had to score at least 93 out of 100 on the judges' sheet.

The Veritas award ceremony is presented annually by the South African National Wine Show Association. This year 76 entrees (from 29 producers) were awarded double gold medals, along with 198 gold medals.

This is the best result that the Welgevallen Cellar has achieved with its Die Laan range at the renowned Veritas wine awards. Four other Die Laan wines entered this year received silver medals, and a fifth received a bronze medal.

The Welgevallen Cellar is the only facility of its kind at a South African university, and is managed by the SU Faculty of AgriSciences. Stellenbosch University is also the only South African university offering viticulture and oenology as a graduate programme. The University also plays an important role in research being done in the areas of viticulture and oenology.

About the Die Laan Merlot Reserve 2017, Wassung says: "The wine has a very intense red colour, good extraction and a lovely balance. The tannin structure is full and complex, with typical red berry and cassis aromas on the nose."

There are still about 800 bottles in stock, at R150 each. Contact Wassung at or 021 808 2925, or visit the Welgevallen Cellar during office hours. It is located between Paul Roos Gymnasium and Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch. For more information, visit

  • ​Photo: Welgevallen Cellar's wine maker and cellar master Riaan Wassung (left) with Christo Pienaar, chairman of the South African National Wine Show Association. Photo: Veritas