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Veritas gold medal for University's wine cellar
Author: Engela Duvenage
Published: 16/11/2021

​Stellenbosch University's Welgevallen Cellar received a gold medal for its Die Laan Merlot 2019 at the 31st Veritas Award Ceremony. Three other wines from this cellar also received recognition in the form of one outstanding silver and two silver medals.

The outstanding silver medal went to the Die Laan Merlot 2019 Reserve, and silver to Die Laan Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2019 and Die Laan Chenin Blanc Reserve 2019.

The Veritas Awards, the longest running of its kind in the South African wine and brandy industry, is presented annually by the South African National Wine Show Association.

Winemaker Riaan Wassung, who is an alumnus of the Department of Viticulture and Oenology, has been involved in the cellar since 2004.

He says the recognition provided a much needed silver lining around what was potentially a very bleak year, during which he was among others hospitalised because of COVID-19 complications.

“I did not know what the future would hold for me. I'm thankful that I made it through, and that I am still here to make a difference.

“I am full of hope that the future has more medals in stock – quality and a product of note are the only measures when it comes to wine."

“Welgevallen Cellar's ongoing success over the last few years shows that we are making quality wines, and are able to hold the name of the cellar and that of SU high."

Wassung invited members of the public to sample and buy the newly released wines on offer.

* 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.

* 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