The South African wine industry bids another well-known legend in wine circles farewell, following the passing of Prof Piet Goussard on 14 July 2019. He was also known as the father of plant improvement.
“Prof Goussard was a brilliant academic, renowned for this ground-breaking research in plant improvement and propagation, but also loved as a lecturer, mentor, colleague and friend. Piet was soft-spoken with a great sense of humour and always willing to help where he could. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and colleagues,” says Nico Spreeth, CEO of Vititec.
Prof Piet Goussard started his viticultural career in 1971 when he joined Stellenbosch University’s department of viticulture and oenology. He worked here as a researcher and lecturer and was later head of the department for 14 years. He retired in 2014 as professor in viticulture. In his more than 40 years at the University and through his broader industry involvement, he played a significant role in viticultural training, research and technology transfer. This includes more than 100 research articles and three recent publications in which his expertise and experience will live on as the foundation for many viticultural practices.
He received various awards through the years, of which the most memorable surely was being the first viticulturist to receive the prestigious 1659 medal of honour at the annual Groot Constantia Wine Harvest Commemorative Event in February this year.
The news of the death of Prof Goussard follows only three weeks after the sudden passing of another legendary viticulturist, Prof Eben Archer. “It was indeed sad to say farewell to two remarkable legends who have made a significant contribution to the quality of South Africa’s viticultural research, practices and world-class wines. We would like to extend our condolences to those who were close to Prof Goussard,” says Rico Basson, MD of the wine industry organisation Vinpro.