31 July 2021

WoTM - Grayhaven Pinotage

My Wine of the Month for August is Pinotage from Grayhaven Vineyard and Winery in Virginia USA.I bought it there when I visited in September 2008. Co-owner Max Peple-Abrams fell in love with Pinotage while in South Africa, where she  met husband Deon Abrams who is winemaker at Grayhaven.

She told me then "We have less than 1/3 acre of Pinotage vines here and have to supplement with Pinotage grapes grown in California. We graft off our existing vines every year to increase our production - it's slow going. To meet the current demand for our Pinotage, we are looking to eventually have about 2000 vines. We thin our crops pretty well so the quality is high but our yield is less than 1/2 of what a large commercial vineyard would get from the same vine count."

This wine, made in 2007 is made with a blend of estate grapes and California grapes, brought to the winery by refrigerated truck, and accounting for its 'American Wine' appellation.

Yet again, I had kept an interesting - and rare - wine for too long. But it was 16% abv so it was still enjoyable. Although totally dry, the high alcohol and Pinotage sweetness gave this wine the feel of Madeira.

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