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.


Admission requirements

Basic admission requirements for university study:

  • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) or Independent Examinations Board (IEB) school-leaving certificate as certified by Umalusi with admission to bachelor's degree studies.
  • A university exemption certificate issued by the South African Matriculation Board to students with other school qualifications.
  • The minimum academic requirement for a bachelor's degree is:
  • 30% for a South African Language of Learning and Teaching (English or Afrikaans) and
  • An achievement rating of 4 (50% - 59%) in four 20-credit subjects
  • Only School of Tomorrow applicants have to write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) if applying for a programme in AgriSciences.

Faculty requirements for programmes leading to a qualification in Viticulture and/or Oenology:

  • An average of at least 60% in the NSC, IEB or relevant final school examination.
    The average is calculated by taking your highest score in Language of Learning and Teaching subject (English or Afrikaans) + (5 x best results in 20-credit subjects excluding Life orientation and Mathematics 3). The total divided by 6 equals your NSC average.
  • ​Afrikaans or English (Home Language or First Additional Language) 4 (50%)
  • Mathematics 5 (60%)
  • Physical Sciences (Physics and Chemistry) 4 (50%) 

     Take note:
  • All programmes are selection programmes and applications will be considered according to the rules and procedures as set out in the Selection guidelines and admission policy for undergraduate programmes for the Faculty of AgriSciences. For full detail, visit:

http://www.sun.ac.za/english/maties/Documents/AgriSciences.pdf


​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)



14052 Crop Production

152 (8) Introduction to applied plant science (1.5L, 1.5P)

Classification systems and classification of agricultural crops; structure of plants of agricultural significance; plant growth regulators; ecological principals and introductory agricultural ecology.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

13872 Grapevine Sciences

214 (12) Grapevine plant materials and their growth and metabolism (2L, 3P)

Grapevine resources for wine and table grape production (rootstock and scion cultivars and varieties); ampelography; seasonal cycles; vine growth and metabolism.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

244 (16) Resource allocation and physiology of grapevines (3L, 3P)

Resource allocation and physiology of grapevines, the latter including vegetative, reproductive, ripening and stress physiology.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Prequisite module: Grapevine Sciences 214

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

312 (8) Table and raisin grape production (2L, 3P)

The global industries. Climate and other requirements for table and raisin grape production. Cultivars, rootstocks, nursery vine quality. Vegetative and reproductive development. Trellis systems and vine development. Production practices linked to the seasonal cycle of the grapevine (pruning, dormancy management, canopy management, crop control, bunch preparation). External and internal fruit quality. Maturity indexing, harvest and post-harvest practices. Compiling production, harvest and post-harvest plans for two table grape cultivars (one labour intensive and one not labour intensive) OR for two raisin grape cultivars. Case study of a commercial unit's implementation of a production plan, as well as the harvest and post-harvest processes of these two cultivars.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Co-requisite modules: Grapevine Sciences 214, 244, 314

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

314 (12) Grapevine improvement/propagation, establishment and cultivation practices (2L, 3P)

The improvement and propagation of grapevine material, grapevine development and the maintenance of grapevines through pruning. Detailed knowledge of nursery practices, grapevine planting and training, and pruning systems and their application in different scenarios will be shared.

Prerequisite module: Grapevine Sciences 214 and 244

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

344 (12) Trellising systems and canopy management: pests, disease and abnormalities (2L, 3P)

The basis for choosing the appropriate training/trellising system and the appropriate canopy management programme. The identification of pests, diseases and abnormalities (including nutrient deficiency/toxicity) is covered, along with appropriate interventions.

Corequisite module: Grapevine Sciences 314

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

444 (16) Advanced viticulture (3L, 3T, 3P)

This module provides a theoretical and practical basis for identifying and managing variability within vineyards, with a focus on maximising yield and quality while minimising environmental impacts by optimizing the use of natural resources (soil and water) and chemical applications (fertilizers, and pesticides and herbicides). The implementation of this concept is accomplished by the analysis of local variation in factors that influence grapevine yield and quality (soil, topography, microclimate, vine health, vegetative growth, etc.) using remote sensing techniques (proximal sensors, aerial platforms and satellites) in combination with geographic information system (GIS) and basic geostatistics principles for generating spatial variability maps of the vineyards.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Prequisite module: Grapevine Sciences 344

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

452 (8) Grape farming systems and business models (2L, 3P)

Table and raisin grape production systems to produce table grapes/raisins for desired quality and market requirement outcomes. Market access 2-day accredited short course (including GLOBALGAP or similar quality traceability system), compiling production, harvest and post-harvest plans for a commercial unit. Case study of a commercial unit's implementation of a production plan, as well as the harvest and post-harvest processes.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Prequisite module: Grapevine Sciences 314, 344

Corequisite module: Grapevine Sciences 444

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

 

 

13710 Grapevine and Wine Sciences

142 (8) Introduction to grapevine and wine sciences (1.5L, 1.5P)

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, winery equipment and production methods. An introduction to wine styles and wine evaluation.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

212 (8) Introduction to grapevine and wine microbiology (1.5L, 1.5P)

History of wine microbiology, description of micro-organisms associated with the grapevine and wine environments and practical ways to isolate, identify and manage their growth, basic biochemical pathways pertaining to wine fermentation.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

278 (8) Practical Project (1): Integrated grapevine and wine sciences (2L, 2P)

Application of viticultural and oenological knowledge contained in first- and second-year modules in which critical academic skills are demonstrated. Presentation of a photographic/electronic portfolio, a literature review, a vineyard plan and a wine tasting.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

378 (16) Practical Project (2): Integrated grapevine and wine sciences (2L, 2P)

Application of viticultural and oenological knowledge contained in second- and third-year modules in which critical academic skills are demonstrated. Presentation of scientific reports, portfolios, process flow charts, compliant wine labels, a basic marketing plan and a wine tasting.

Prerequisite modules: Grapevine and Wine Sciences 278

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

444 (8) International terroir and wines (2L, 3P)

This module introduces the student to the terroir concept in grapevine and wine science, and explores viticultural management practices and wine style decision-making under 'normal' and rapidly -changing climatic conditions. It introduces the main characteristics (typicality) of international and local wines associated with specific terroirs.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Prerequisite modules: Grapevine Sciences 344

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

 

454 (8) The Future of Wine (2L, 3P)

The module will provide an overview of the drivers of change in the wine industry, the relevance of innovation in the context of a changing world, the process of innovation, and evaluation of technologies that have the potential to disrupt the current attitudes and practices in the wine industry.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

478 (60) Industry Internship (3T, 3P)

This module utilises a work-integrated learning strategy to enhance practical viticultural and winemaking experience in the industry under the guidance of academic and industry mentors. Experience in all aspects of cellar and vineyard management. Identification and design of a scientific research project or system in the workplace. Working in teams and individually to manage vines, monitor ripening, produce wine, conduct experiment, write a project report and present results and write a reflection on experience.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Prerequisite Pass modules:

·       Grapevine Sciences 214, 244, 314, 344

·       Wine Sciences 214, 244, 314, 344

·       Grapevine and Wine Sciences 278, 378

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

13890 Wine Sciences

214 (16) Introduction to wine industry (3L, 3P)

The South African wine industry, consumers and products in context. Wine-of-Origin system, legislation and regulations, including labelling. Workplace health and safety in a winemaking context. Principles of sustainable wine production.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

244 (16) Wine styles and sensory evaluation (3L, 3P)

Wine evaluation systems, working in a formal tasting environment, effective communication to wine consumers in tasting rooms (service-learning). Wine components, wine scoring, descriptive analysis and the appropriateness of different sensory tests. Consumer preferences and issues. Traditional and non-traditional wine markets. Wine styles: importance in winemaking, and the process of wine production for various styles, including legislation around permissible additives. Brandy, sparkling, sherry and other production systems.

Prerequisite module: Wine Sciences 214

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

314 (16) Grape processing and wine production (3L, 3P)

Principles and practices of winemaking will be discussed and implemented producing different wine styles. Harvesting of the grapes; grape processing; use of different winemaking technologies; addition of processing agents; management of alcoholic and malolactic fermentations; handling of problem fermentations.

Prerequisite modules: Grapevine and Wine Sciences 212; Wine Sciences 244

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology

344 (16) Wine stabilization, clarification, bottling and faults (3L, 3P)

Principles and techniques for wine clarification, stabilisation and bottling will be discussed. Wine faults: prevention, origins and treatments. Wine tasting and analyses.

Prerequisite module: Wine Sciences 314

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology


 

446 (24) Biochemistry of wine flavours (3L, 3T, 3P)

Integrated and comprehensive study of fermentation-derived aroma compound production. The biochemistry of wine-relevant organisms (yeasts and lactic acid bacteria). The role of phenolics, polysaccharides, ageing, oxidation and wood derived compounds in wine.

Method of assessment: Flexible assessment

Prerequisite module: Wine Sciences 314, 344

Home department: Viticulture and Oenology