08 November 2006

New Zealand Pinotage

There is some great Pinotage being made in New Zealand, although unfortunately little is exported.

New Zealander Sue Courtney writes that "Pinotage, the South African grape variety, was introduced into New Zealand by pioneering winemaker, Corbans, who ....... planted the first Pinotage vineyard at Whenuapai on the northern outskirts of Auckland, and the first wine was made in 1964.

"The variety was quick to catch on with the handful of winemakers, especially those in Auckland, for the thick skins of the grapes were able to stand up to the region's humidity as well as offering resistance to diseases.

"However, the quality of the early wines was variable.

"Now, since the late 1990's, Pinotage has been undergoing a revival with new clones, developed in South Africa, becoming available. The grape is grown in most regions, from the most northerly to the most southern vineyards, although in tiny quantities at the southern extremes. And there are some very good examples indeed."

Read the full story on her webzine, with some detailed facts and figures at http://www.wineoftheweek.com/stories/0101pinotage.html

Sue has put together a collection of her tasting notes on ten years of NZ Pinotage from at http://www.wineoftheweek.com/tastings/pinotage.html

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