The Pinotage Association celebrates—and promotes—the grape that is uniquely South African.
Words by Greg Landman
Invented—if that is the word—by Professor Izak Perold, the first professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University, in the 1920s, when he crossed Pinot Noir with the grape variety then called Hermitage and today known as Cinsault.
The combination of these two grape varietals results in a delicious deep dark red wine with some smoky flavours, very much like Shiraz. Today it is made all over SA wine country and in some others, like New Zealand, as well.
Recently the Association honoured the first Rosés made from Pinotage at a function at Overture Restaurant in Stellenbosch. All the major Pinotage areas were represented and the wines were a revelation, but as in all these competitions someone has to win. The three top Rosés chosen were from Painted Wolf—The Den—in Paarl, Riebeek Cellars in the Swartland, and Rooiberg in Robertson.
At the same time the Absa Perold Cape Blend Award was given to five cellars, Namaqua Wines in Olifants River, Idiom in Somerset West, Lyngrove in Stellenbosch, Simonsig ( who seem to be popping up everywhere!), and Windmeul from Paarl.
The blends were absolutely delicious with many featuring Cabernet, and with Pinotage contributing no less than 30% and no more than 70% as per the rules of the Association.
All in all, great wines to be looked for by Pinotage lovers.