A Vergelegen vertical, and the fight against leafroll


These days, if something goes viral, it's considered a big success. But not when that thing is a vineyard.

Leafroll virus is the scourge of South Africa, throttling productivity until the point when a vineyard requires complete replanting. It means there are precious few old vines in the Cape winelands, which has inspired Vergelegen's André van Rensburg to fight back.

Working with Professor Gerhard Pietersen, Vergelegen has already replanted 120 hectares of vines with new material that is screened for viral infection before planting. Further, the vines are checked each year for infection, and if any leafroll is discovered, the...