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.


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