Well-known and loved viticulture boffin and Winetech consultant, Jan Booysen, received the OIV Merit Award at the OIV headquarters in Paris, France. This award is given to individuals recognised within the international vine and wine sector.
The award coming Jan’s way should be no surprise given the extraordinary work he did, particularly in service of the local wine industry. Jan served as the first acting director of the Institute for Grape and Wine Sciences, Stellenbosch University, he was a member of the Demarcation Committee for the wine of origin system in South Africa, he was also a member of the Committee for Integrated Production of Wine and editor and consultant to WineLand’s Winetech Technical.
During his career he was honoured as a Chevalier Côtes de Rhône in 2002 and Chevalier Chinon in 2003, he was also honoured by Gymnasium High School in Paarl, where he completed his high school education, for extraordinary achievements in the broader field of science, as well as the South African Society for Viticulture and Oenology for services rendered to the SA wine industry.
Jan represented the SA wine industry at the OIV from 1999 until present. He also served two terms as president of the Vine Protection Expert Group and from 2012 – 2015 he was appointed as Qualified Personality, a specialist advisor to the previous OIV president, Claudia Quini.
After receiving the award and ending his tenure at the OIV, Jan said, “I would like to use this opportunity to thank the OIV for awarding me this order of merit, as well as the South African wine industry, and Winetech in particular, for enabling me to participate in the OIV. My wife, Hanchen, and I also want to thank the OIV for the opportunities created to visit several wine producing countries in the world over the past 18 years. It gave us a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity of people, their culture, wines and the food of those countries. We met wonderful people and made friends that will always remain dear to us. We’re sad to say goodbye, but will cherish the fond memories that will remain with us.”