The South African wine pioneer Professor Abraham Isak Perold (1880-1941) was born in Cape Town. He studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the Victoria University in Stellenbosch and also obtained a PhD (Philosophy) in Halle, Germany in 1904. Hence his excellent knowledge of German. During a study trip lasting several years, he got to know France in particular. In 1906 he got the temporary chair of chemistry at the University of Cape Town. From 1917 to 1928 he worked at the University of Stellenbosch, under his leadership the departments for viticulture and oenology were created.
He was commissioned by the government to qualify for the European vines South Africa to explore. From his travels, he brought 177 varieties to South Africa, which form the core of the still existing collection at the Welgevallen experimental farm at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1910 he discovered the variety Barlinka in Algeria and performed it in South Africa as table grape on. He became internationally known primarily because of the new breed later named Pinotage which he named in 1924 by crossing Hermitage (the one so named in South Africa Cinsault ) x Pinot Noir created. A handbook on viticulture entitled "Oor Wynbou" (Our Viticulture) was published in 1926. In 1928 Perold was appointed dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch. From this time he was also an expert for the central winegrowers' cooperative in South Africa for many years KWV (Kooperatiewe Wijnbowers Vereniging van Zuid Africa).