23 January 2012
Pinotage Wine Guide Launched
A spiffy new Guide to South African Pinotage was published on Friday by the producer’s Pinotage Association. The event took place in Wellington at Diemersfontein Winery, the home of the original coffee’n’chocolate style Pinotage.
The main part of the 156 page full colour pocket sized Guide is a listing of wineries producing Pinotage and Pinotage blends with descriptions of their wines and wine land maps to guide visitors.
The book also covers Pinotage history and food and wine matching with several Pinotage recipes including Pinotage ice cream and Beyerskloof’s signature Pinotage burger.
The subtitle 1995-2011 refers to the year the Association was formed till the most recent Top 10 Competition. The book lists the most successful wineries in the 15 years of the competition, which commenced in 1997.
The Top 10 producers, as classified by winning entries in the competition are, in alphabetical order:
Rijk’s Private Cellar
And the winemakers with the most wins, in order of wins, are:
Beyers Truter, of Beyerskloof (and previously Kanonkop Estate)
Danie Steytler Snr, of Kaapzicht Estate
Daniel de Waal, of Super Single Vineyards (and previously DeWaal/Uiterwyk)
Francois Naudé, of Chateau Naudé (and previously L’Avenir Vineyards)
Guy Webber, of Stellenzicht Vineyards
Pierre Wahl, of Rijk’s Private Cellar
Association Chairman Beyers Truter said that better Pinotage was being made now than ever before, with sales of bottled Pinotage increasing 11% year on year in South Africa and annual exports from 5.5million to 9.5 million bottles in the five years to 2008.
Beyers Truter also announced a further five years of sponsorship by ABSA Bank worth ‘a few millions’, although he declined to name the exact figure.
Beyers said that when the Top 10 competition started Pinotage makers were dreaming in black and white. Since then much has been learned about growing and making good Pinotage and their dreams are in colour, and over the next five years they will be dreaming in 3D. The future is a “full bodied, balanced Pinotage with an accessible alcohol level.”
We finished outside together with the farm workers standing around bins of freshly gathered Pinotage grapes for the ceremony of blessing the harvest.
Photograph: Winemaker Francois Roode (left) with Diemersfontein owner David Sonnenberg blessing the harvest