Cobus Dowry, Minister of Agriculture for Western Cape, came out in strong support and has undertaken to present the request to the World Cup Committee. "The Department of Agriculture Western Cape wholeheartedly supports the initiative and agrees that 2010 Soccer World Cup is the ideal opportunity to present a truly unique South African wine. Pinotage wine at the official functions during the World Cup celebrations will assist to strengthen the image and value of Pinotage," he said.
Beyers Truter, Pinotage Association Chairman, said that South Africa has practical and patriotic reasons for promoting Pinotage as a grape variety that provides wines of superior quality. He said "If the request is accepted, we will donate a sufficient quantity of wood-matured Pinotage wine for official functions and for participants and winners of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. We do not want to become involved in the commercial opportunities, as there are enough cellars and other instances that are structured to do this."
The 2010 World Cup Pinotage wines will be selected by a panel of experts and will be bottled under a generic Pinotage label..
Although Pinotage grapes became part of the SA national vineyards at a much later stage than the classic European red wine cultivars, it produces nearly 15% of the total tonnage of red wine grapes harvested in South Africa. The international demand for Pinotage wines is thus clearly illustrated by the fact that it comprises about 11% of all these natural wines exported from South Africa.
The Pinotage Association also requested South African Airways to name one of their aeroplanes ‘Pinotage’ on the route between London and Cape Town in order to increase the awareness of the variety.
Beyers Truter (Pinotage Association Chairman), Minister Cobus Dowry, Gert Boerssen (Pinotage Association Board Member).