Abraham Izak Perold


Abraham Izak Perold

Abraham Izak Perold was born in the Cape on 20 October 1880. He obtained first class B.A. degree in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in 1901. Perold's results were good enough to earn him a bursary to study overseas.

He obtained a Ph.D in Chemistry (summa cum laude) from the University of Halle an der Saale in Germany in 1904. He then went to Paris to explore his French origins and fulfill a promise to his father to learn French.

Not only did Perold add fluent French to the fluent German he'd picked up at university, but two years of European travels added conversational Italian, Spanish and Portuguese to his linguistic repertoire.

Perold returned to South Africa in 1906 to a post as temporary professor in Chemistry at the University of Cape Town. But it wasn't long before he was off overseas again.

The Cape government wanted to extend the range of grapes planted in the region.They recognised Perold as the most qualified candidate to send on a scouting mission.

He eventually returned with 177 varietals which formed the core of a collection which still exists at the Welgevallen Experimental Farm of the University of Stellenbosch.

On his return, Perold became the first professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch. He later became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the university. He joined the KWV in 1927 and made a huge contribution to the wine industry during his time there.

He died on the 11th December 1941.