20 August 2008

Pinotage in North Carolina

Where is this Pinotage growing was the question posed in the last post. Grant Liddell, from Hermanus in South Africa's winelands correctly guessed North Carolina.

These grapes are in a vineyard at Villa Kleinheksel in North Carolina, USA.

Owner Brent Kleinheksel says “My Pinotage is looking good...it's a different grape....we are in a drought now, and most of my other varietals had poor fruit set as a result. Not the Pinotage, it really puts out full clusters. The drought has kept the vigor down, and I heard that is very key to making a good Pinotage. It ripens very early and the sugars shoot up so fast...it's tough to keep the bees and the birds out it... I do love Pinotage though...I've been drinking a Pinotage from Vino Con Brio in California. It took a few years for it to calm down, but the 2000 vintage is pretty good now. My whole family now loves Pinotage...specifically Stormhoek.. Which must be South Africa. My favorite is still Te Awa Farms in New Zealand. I hope Pinotage stays a secret...because it can be such a great wine.”

Unfortunately Brent need to move for family reasons and the property is for sale. Brent says “I will be sad to sell the vineyard... But I've found I love drinking wine much more than I do fighting all the disease and weather issues in North Carolina...I don't like to spray chemicals and being organic is almost impossible here...but I did get by with only 2 fungicide sprays this year...no pesticides and no herbicides...so for this area, that's pretty good. “

The first Pinotage vintage is due this year. “I am very excited,” Brent tells me.

Brent’s Villa Kleinheksel blog is at www.greatncwines.com

photographs (c) Copyright Brent Kleinheksel and used by permission


  1. Anonymous21:46

    I believe Grant is off to Croatia soon to be the winemaker on some inherited land. Certainly a lucky man!

    I wonder if he will be growing any Pinotage in Croatia.

    Peter do you know if there is allready some Pinotage in Croatia?

  2. Not as far as I know. Perhaps Grant will look out for it.