06 October 2012

Pinotage at AWS 2012 Conference

Just a month to go and I’m preparing my Pinotage presentation for the 2012 National Conference of the American Wine Society in Portland, Oregon on 9 November.

I’ve only a short time for the seminar and I want to use it to give the facts and demolish some myths. 

But the really important thing is to let people taste good Pinotage for themselves. There’s no point in just telling people how it tastes because that’s not going to change any pre-conceptions: the evidence will be in their glasses.

I am grateful to the following  South Africa, California and Virginia wineries for generously supplying wines for event.

  • Beyerskloof   ‘Diesel’ 2009
  • Fairview 2010
  • Fort Ross ‘Estate’ 2007 (California)
  • Loma Prieta ‘Amorosa Vineyard’ 2010 (California)
  • Lovingston ‘Gilberts Vineyard’ 2011 (Virginia)
  • Silkbush  ‘Lions Drift’ 2009
  • Simonsig 2009
  • Simonsig ‘Redhill’ 2009

Shortly after booking opened I heard from AWS there were 66 Update - Latest figures show 77 people booked for the seminar at that time but maximum capacity is 90.

There is an amazing breadth of wines to taste and I doubt such a line up has ever happened before

If you can, I hope to see you there.

(this post updated on 19 Oct 2012)



  1. How wonderful! I won't be able to make it, but I have a keen interest in South African wines and I'm eager to learn more about Pinotage. I confess that those few that I've tried have lived up to the negative hype, but I remain fascinated by the history of the grape and the potential for the wine it can make. You allude to demolishing some myths - aside from the famous nose and the reputation as a blender, what would you say are the biggest misconceptions about Pinotage? I'll be on the lookout for the wines you're bringing with you. Thanks for a great post!

  2. Hi Len, almost everything one reads on the web about the variety is incorrect and in the short time I have I’ll be nailing those misconceptions and putting the facts.

    The full story, with back up evidence, is in my book PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine.

    I won’t have time at the seminar to go into too much detail but the most important thing is to let people taste some excellent modern Pinotage and make up their own mind. I am thrilled we’ve got wines from some top vineyards and producers in South Africa, California and Virginia.

    Sure you can’t make it?

  3. Len, would you email me?