25 February 2016
Angola Picks First Pinotage
The first Pinotage to be grown in Angola was harvested at Quinta Crescent last week.
Quinta Crescent is owned by Pinotage fan and Angolan Government Minister General Francisco Furtado.
General Furtado planted his vineyard in co-operation with Pinotage guru Beyers Truter, owner of Beyerskloof.
Beyers told me “We planted 12 ha of Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Roobernet and Shiraz starting in July 2013. The Pinotage went in during November 2013, so this harvest was its first.
We’re in the highlands with cool temperatures and we had to harvest early before the rainy season set in. We got 3 tons per ha and had to do some chaptalisation to get a reasonable alcohol level, but it’s looking good for young vines.”
Beyers managed to make grappa from Pinotage skins last week and he poured me a taste of the crystal clear 57% abv grappa from a small plastic bottle. It is powerful stuff.
Beyers is obviously having a ball with his Angola project and will be returning to Quinta Crescent in March to oversee the winemaking. “We had to take all the winemaking equipment—every single thing—from South Africa,” he said.
Angolan Pinotage grappa is another first for me, now I’m looking forward to tasting Angola Pinotage wine.