Pinotage Portion #PinotageDay

South Africa’s one and only national grape – Pinotage – celebrates a rich history and has its own day on the wine calendar.  The second Saturday of October will always be Pinotage Day.  A day dedicated to a unique varietal that was brought about by combining Hermitage and Pinot Noir, the famous Hemel-en-Aarde grape.

Two names that need mention when referring to the heritage of Pinotage are Abraham Izak Perold and Beyers Truter. Perold crafted Pinotage and Truter made sure the legacy continues.  Truter and his farm, Beyerskloof, is all about Pinotage.  Besides a variety of Pinotage wines and blends, the farm’s Red Leaf Bistro has a Pinotage burger, pinotage ice-cream and now PinotAle – an Irish Red Ale Pinotage blend. How’s that for Pinotage piety?

The Cape Whale Coast has a small but significant collection of Pinotage.  Southern Right celebrates the whales that arrive annually in Hermanus as well as ‘n style of Pinotage that resonates with Hemel-en-Aarde – elegant and smooth. The Ashbourne Pinotage blend is another example from this area.  Whalehaven produces a Pinotage under their Abalone label and Sumaridge’s Epitome combines 40% Pinotage with Shiraz to qualify as a Cape blend. Moving to Stanford, Stanford Hills makes the popular Jacksons Pinotage and Springfontein has  Jonathan’s Ridge.  In Bot River, Cape Whale Coast’s neighbour, Wildekrans and Beaumont both have Pinotage in their stables. Wildekrans, has a barrel select Pinotage which has won enough accolades to cover the bottle in award stickers while Beaumont’s is predominantly produced from mature 40-year-old vines.

Variety is indeed in our Pinotage nature and there are many styles to celebrate almost 60 years after the first bottle of Pinotage saw the light. Happy #PinotageDay!

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3 thoughts on “Pinotage Portion #PinotageDay

  1. There is a second South African grape (an oldie). They used to call it ‘Steen’. Nowadays better known as Chenin Blanc. It originates from the Loire Valley in France but the South African variety produces a better quality wine. Reason that this variety is now also grown in France and South Germany (Freiburg region). Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut; executed by Prof. Perold but, as I understood once, initiated by winemaker Danie de Wet of the Wetshof Estate in Roberton.

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    1. Great to receive your comment Herman! You are not just about great photography. Yes, Chenin or Steen has and is the most widely planted wine grape in South Africa. We are especially proud of our Pinotage cultivar as this is the only wine cultivar crafted in South Africa. This cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage (giving Pinotage its name) is now also planted in other wine regions of the world. Cinsaut (or Cinsault as some spells it) was known as Hermitage in South Africa.
      Interesting fact that you mention about Danie de Wet’s involvement in Pinotage. I shall ask when I am at De Wetshof in November. Love these stories!

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      1. Hopefully you get a tour by Danie de Wet himself. He is informative and the tasting is more formal than at the average cellar. When you are in the Robertson Wine Valley also visit Fraai Uitzicht (guesthouse/restaurant/wine cellar) and ask, except for their Merlot, also about their ‘secret wine’. Karl Uwe will be proud to show you around just after lunch. Another place to visit is a bit off the beaten track but you won’t regret: Sumsare of the Erasmus family in Agterkliphoogte. Danie Erasmus creates his own witblits and other spirits with the smallest distiller in the country. Great family tradition.

        Greetings from Napier

        Herman

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