Vinpro’s viticultural consultation service is under new leadership from 1 July 2019, and the Gen-Z vineyard project will gain new momentum with the appointment of a dedicated manager.
Conrad Schutte assumed the position of Vinpro consultation service manager, taking over from Francois Viljoen who was at the helm of this division for the past 20 years. Going forward Francois will focus on the Gen-Z project, an industry-wide technology transfer initiative, and continue to provide consultation services to the industry.
Conrad joined Vinpro in 2010 as viticultural consultant for the Stellenbosch region and has been assistant manager since September 2018. His academic background includes BSc and honours degrees specialising in viticulture and plant pathology from Stellenbosch University. He also obtained an MBA degree from the Stellenbosch University Graduate School of Business in 2017.
“The Vinpro consultation service is a multi-disciplinary team with more than 150 years’ combined experience,” says Conrad. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation that Francois has set, and supporting our clients even better as a team, towards a stronger South African wine industry.”
The consultation service consists of seven regional viticulturists, a soil scientist, GIS specialist, three secretaries and a training office.
In his time as manager of the consultation service, since 1999, Francois was instrumental in establishing the Gen-Z vineyard project in 2016. He will now focus his efforts on Gen-Z, with viticulturist Emma Carkeek, but will continue to provide viticultural consultation services to the industry.
“Seeing is believing. We will be able to share the best local and international research findings, technology, plant material, equipment and innovative practices with producers, viticulturists and winemakers through practical demonstrations on demo plots,” Francois says.
Vinpro is a non-profit company which represents more than 2 500 South African wine grape producers, cellars and wine-related businesses, provides strategic direction and specialised services, and focuses on the development of people.
Media enquiries: Vinpro
Tel: 021 276 0458