Pinotage, South Africa in the glass

The history of Pinotage begins with its creator, Professor Abraham Izak Perold (1880–1941), a graduate of mathematics, physics and chemistry.

In 1906 the Cape Province sent Perold to Europe on a scouting mission to search for new grape varieties. Perold returned to South Africa with 177 new varieties; thanks to his studies he became the first professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch and later Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. Even today, the 177 varieties brought to South Africa by Perold are part of a collection at the Welgevallen Experimental Farm at Stellenbosch University.

In 1925 Perold, during his studies, successfully crossed two very different grape varieties , Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, which was then known as Hermitage. The reasons for the choice made by the professor are not known: it is said that Perold wanted to combine the prince of French red grape varieties, Pinot Noir, with a much humbler but very resistant vine, Hermitage. Tradition also says that the professor wanted to bring together nobility and simplicity, two complementary aspects of the Earth.

This is how Pino – tage was born, a vine that found the best terroir and climate conditions in South Africa to grow strong and vigorous. Pinotage is grown in the Western Cape area, where, thanks to the clayey soil and the cool climate generated by the nearby Atlantic Ocean and the sea currents from the South Pole, it can reach perfect, slow and aromatic maturation. The most famous area for producing excellent Pinotage is Stellenbosch.

The history of Pinotage is also marked in 1941, when Charl Theron de Waal produced the first barrel of Pinotage wine, precisely in Stellenbosch. The name first appeared on a wine label in 1961, the 1959 Lanzerac Pinotage from SFW (Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Group).

Since then, Pinotage has been recognized as an "excellent wine and grape variety with enormous potential" and has been defined as the enological gem of South Africa. At the same time, Pinotage has found its precise place among the most famous vines in the world, placing itself at the same level as the most appreciated European varieties.

At the same time as these international successes, Frans Malan of Simonsig Wine Estate was experimenting with different approaches in the Pinotage winemaking process, for example adopting new oak barrels for aging the wine.

Among the Pinotages produced in his cellar we offer the 2018 Pinotage, with a lively crimson red color with aromas of berries and subtle notes of liquorice and sweet spices.

On the palate it offers a hint of raspberry compote, black cherries and strawberries. Its light and harmonious acidity and soft, well-rounded tannins make the Simonsig Pinotage 2018 very pleasant and drinkable.

For this reason, it is the perfect Pinotage to approach this characteristic South African wine . A gustatory experience that will positively surprise even those who have never tasted South African wines and in particular the emblem of the winemaking reality of the Rainbow Country: Pinotage.

Perfect to accompany the traditional South African braai, but also pasta dishes, ostrich meat and game.

For the Simonsig Pinotage product sheet, click here .

We want to conclude this page dedicated to Pinotage by pointing out to all the people who are passionate about this wine that the city of Stellenbosh has dedicated a vineyard to the father of Pinotage, the Perold town vineyard, consisting of 2500 square meters and 800 vineyards. A tribute to the symbolic vine of South Africa .

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