Local publication wins international award

by | Sep 28, 2020 | Article

Local publication SOIL PREPARATION for sustainable wine and table grape production, by Dr Johan van Zyl and Dr Eduard Hoffman won the Sustainable Vitiviniculture Category at the 2020 OIV Awards. The 2020 Awards mark 90 years since the creation of the Awards of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). According to OIV communications, this year has seen a particularly diverse range of submissions, with 25 countries in four continents represented across the 11 categories.

The prestigious OIV Awards are internationally recognised in the vitivinicultural sector.

SOIL PREPARATION for sustainable wine and table grape production covers knowledge gleaned from research and practical experience that accumulated in South Africa over the past 100 years. The project was a joint venture between Winetech, SATI (South African Table Grape Industry) and Villa.

Both authors are soil scientists and are currently involved in the Department of Soil Science at Stellenbosch University. They have extensive experience in research and teaching in the soil science
field. The book addresses all aspects of soil preparation. It not only gives practical information, but also explains the background to recommendations and provides experimental evidence in support.

Authors Dr Johan van Zyl (left) and Dr Eduard Hoffman (right). Photo by David Savage.

Plenty of photos throughout the book help to illustrate and explain the concepts. Author Dr Johan van Zyl said that this award was an honour and a very pleasant surprise for both him
and co-author, Dr Eduard Hoffman. ‘We really enjoyed writing the book and the award is an added bonus. We are also grateful to the sponsors, Winetech, SATI and Villa for making this possible and giving us the opportunity to embark on this project. The award doesn’t just acknowledge the authors, but is a testament to the world-class research that is conducted in South Africa by numerous researchers. Furthermore it also shows what can be achieved with effective teamwork – between the authors, sponsors, industry organisations and designers.”

“I grew up on a farm in the Free State where from a young age, I spent many hours behind a tractor wheel and was always fascinated by how implements used for cultivation work and affect the soil”, said author Dr Eduard Hoffman. He has always worked in the soil science field, both as researcher and lecturer and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience which is why writing this book was very gratifying.

South African vineyard soils are mostly shallow and in many cases, have a high acidity. As a consequence these soils must be modified (prepared) before vineyards can be successfully established and yield sustainably in the long run. This is why South Africa has been a world leader in the discipline of soil preparation for many years.

The book is a culmination of years of experience by both authors and published research articles on compaction in vineyards. This publication is a useful guide for suitable and correct soil preparation, suitable to be used by producers, contractors and students. As academic textbook it can be used to inform students about compaction and how to rectify it.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, enquiries can be sent to Lucinda Heyns at lucinda@winetech.co.za. Books subject to availability.

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