24 July 2012

Pinotage in Ohio

There’s Pinotage in Ohio, but currently only as an ongoing trial started in 2008 by Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Centre who are trying to find suitable wine grape varieties that can survive and thrive in Ohio’s climate.

This a partly driven because there are now not enough Ohio grown grapes to meet demand from new wineries in the state.

Professor Imed Dami told the Pinotage Club that they’re

“still early in having a complete picture about how Pinotage performs in Ohio.

I like its growth habit and it seems to carry a heavy crop load. Bud injury from winter was not bad for a vinifera. However, it is notorious for crown gall. So its success would depend on winter survival and obtaining crown-gall free stocks. This variety has potential.”

Professor Dami, who is a state viticulture specialist with OSU Extension, added 
“we're also evaluating the effect of region (terroir) to see whether it is more suitable in southern Ohio.”


18 July 2012

Queensland, Oz has Pinotage

 Ravenscroft Wines is owned by Mark Ravenscroft who currently has about 450 Pinotage vines on a 0.7 acre plot. Marks says  
“Progress on the Pinotage front has been a bit slow as I have had hail the last two Octobers. So limited quantities made - only getting about 800 kg and about 600-700 bottles. The wine at the moment shows Pinot characters, although with a bit more spice – a bit like Tempranillo.

I am the only one growing it in Queensland and did so for the uniqueness and my heritage, of course.”

Mark comes from South Africa and studied winemaking at Elsenberg in Stellenbosch where he qualified in 1988. After travelling the world’s wine regions he spent a couple of years as winemaker at Onverwacht Wine Estate in the Western Cape. He emigrated to Australia in 1992 where he worked as winemaker at several estates before buying his own property in 2004. 

Mark planted his first Pinotage in 2007 with an initial Pinotage vintage in 2009. 

Marks says
The wine has been made in the press using a commercial yeast- using it as a roto fermenter - no special tricks. As soon as I progress to a ton I will start cold soaking etc.

I still think the style at the moment is not finalised. My Pinotage retails for $35 and sells well through my cellardoor.”
See also


16 July 2012

Pinotage found in Europe!

There’s Pinotage in Europe! It is at Venthône, near the town of Sierre. It’s grown and made by Simon Favre, owner of Cave d’Anchettes in the Valais wine region.

Simon’s father-in-law had brought Pinotage back from a trip to South Africa and intrigued, Simon planted fifteen vines in 1982 and has been multiplying them every since. They are planted over several of Simon’s vineyards located at different altitudes.

Alex Rychlewski was given a bottle of the 2007 Pinotage some time ago when he visited the region. Alex, an American living and working on Bordeaux for more than thirty years, said

I suspected that the wine would gain nothing from further ageing. The color certainly implied as much. It was diffuse with a brown rim. The nose was sweet and very Pinot-like and the wine was smooth, sweet once again (not literally!), and on the short side. A fun wine to enjoy with a grilled slice of lamb on a Wednesday afternoon.

This is the first and only confirmed sighting of Pinotage in the old world, but if its been growing in Switzerland for thirty years unknown to us I wonder if there are there other plantings to find.

Many thanks to Alex Rychlewski for his tasting note and label photo.