01 November 2011

Jennifer Molgat of The View talks Pinotage - video

The View is a fifth generation farm set in fruit orchard country south of the town of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The winery name comes from the amazing view of Lake Okanagan from the highest part on the farm where the tasting room was planned to be built. But that is on hold and tastings take place at the winery and office in an old apple packing facility next to the roadside.

Here I met the ebullient owner, Jennifer Molgat (pictured left inspecting Pinotage), winemaker Bernhard Schirrmeister and vineyard manager Willem Semmelink. It is Jennifers red stiletto shoes that have become the winery's logo and each wine comes with a shoe pairing recommendation.

Eight years ago they planted 4 acres of Pinotage and because the variety was successful they have planted another 4 acres. The soil is sandy loam with some clay on the lower slopes.

Four varietal Pinotages are produced. “We make North America’s only Pinotage Rosé,” says Jennifer. Named Distraction, 2010 is the second vintage and is bright pink, clean and fresh and dry with a tang of red grapefruit flavours. This is a grown–up’s rosé and it won ‘Judges Choice’ and a Gold medal in the rosé category at the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival. (Shoe pairing: “Nothing…you will want to feel the sand in between your toes”)

The View wines are in demand from restaurants and Red Shoe Red is a Pinotage produced for the on-trade and closed with a screw-cap because that’s what restaurants request for wines served by the glass. I tasted the 2009 vintage. 60% is aged in old oak. It is dark red with soft red-berry fruit flavours, cracked black pepper and a dry finish. It’s lovely stuff. (Shoe pairing: 4 inch Red spike heels)

2009 Pinotage Reserve had some juice bled off to intensify the remaining wine by increasing the skin to juice ratio. This has an inky dense black red colour and a tangy taste at first that ends in lingering smooth dark chocolate and cherry flavours. I really enjoyed this serious delicious wine. (Shoe pairing: Anything Jimmy Choo)

2008 Pinotage is lighter, with an expressive nose and bright strawberry flavours and a touch of sourness on the finish. (Shoe pairing: Louis Vuitton penny loafers)
Jennifer drove me up the hill behind the winery to see the views of Kelowna and the lake. We passed vines laden down with large black bunches of Baco Noir which will be sold to other wineries, and pale green Riesling.

Pinotage is grown on high trellises and some of the older vines are on their own roots but phylloxera has been detected nearby and the new Pinotage vineyards (pictured above) are grafted.

While in the mature Pinotage vineyard with its ripe bunches soon to be harvested, I asked Jennifer to tell us about her Pinotage:

The View produce the funniest winery video's I have seen. Make sure you see the Red Shoes in winery action at theviewwinery.com/video.html

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