14 October 2011

Diemersfontein Exports "Coffee Lite"

Diemersfontein invented the coffee accented Pinotage category eleven years ago. Their wine has been described as a cult and has a sell out annual festival, Pinotage on Tap, in its honour. A dozen other wineries have followed their lead by making coffee Pinotages.

The latest vintage available in Europe, 2010, now says COFFEE PINOTAGE on its front label. But that is not all that has changed. In a move that reminds me of the ‘New Coke’ story, export versions of the wine have had the coffee accents reduced. “This is to let the fruit be more prominent,” says Aubern Williams who staffed Diemersfontein’s stand at Cape Wine Europe this week. “But the original format will continue to be sold in South Africa,” he explained.

I found the wine seemed a lighter, thinner version of the wine I remembered - more Birds Mellow blend than Starbucks...

I don’t understand why the winning formula has been toned down for the export market at the same time as ‘coffee’ has been added to the front label for the first time and I asked Aubern to explain.

Aubern works in the Diemersfontein tasting rooms and he was in London to show Diemersfontein and the Thokozani empowerment project wines

If you are in the Cape then you should be going to Diemersfontein on 22 October for the annual POT day to celebrate the release of the 2011 vintage 'coffee Pinotage' (original recipe) - see here for details.

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