Showcasing the new wave of specific Pinotage

A next generation of Pinotage specialists that produce site-specific, single vineyard wines are expessing the versatility and refinement of this proudly South African varietal. L’Avenir winemaker, Dirk Coetzee, and viticultural consultant, Dr Etienne Terblanche, presented a virtual tasting of the Western Cape’s top Pinotages to a group of 16 selected USA media and sommeliers.

“With the benefit of more than 60 vintages of Pinotage in total, as well as older Pinotage vineyards and more diversity in terms of sites, Pinotage makers now have the exciting opportunity to truly specialise and make wines that capture the absolute essence of Pinotage,” explains Dirk Coetzee, who led a tasting of six of South Africa’s – and therefore the world’s – most revered modern Pinotages.

As a young varietal in global terms, Pinotage has specifically advanced through a greater focus on viticulture and an expression of unique viticultural sites. “The Simonsberg is the cradle of old vine Pinotage and the heartland of Pinotage heritage. Combine this with more recent plantings of Pinotage in cooler regions such as Hemel and Aarde and the result is a line-up of most interesting wines from South Africa’s own grape variety,” explained Dr Etienne Terblanche, affectionately known as Dr Pinotage, who holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University, with a focus on the ripeness levels of Pinotage.

The Site Specific Pinotage tasting comprised six wines, which were tasted from east to west on the Western Cape map, starting at Hemel en Aarde and ending on the west coast on the Swartberg Mountain:

Ashbourne Pinotage 2017 (Hemel en Aarde)

Beaumont Pinotage 2017 (Botriver)

B Vintners Liberte Pinotage 2017 (Stellenbosch)

Beeslaar Pinotage 2018 (Stellenbosch)

L ’Avenir Single Block Pinotage 2017 (Stellenbosch)

Sangiro Pinotage 2017 (Piekenierskloof)

 This tasting stems from a Future of Pinotage event that was presented at L’Avenir Wine Estate for a delegation of sommeliers, media and influencers that attended Cape Wine in 2018. Subsequently, Dirk has presented several tastings to demonstrate the refinement of single site Pinotage and the depth of this category.

“I am incredibly passionate about the versatility of Pinotage. To see the response from wine professionals when they experience this new wave of site specific Pinotages is quite enthralling! It was particularly special to present this tasting to specialists from the USA, where Pinotage is generally still a novelty,” says Dirk.

The tasting was presented in collaboration with Wines of South Africa.

For more information contact Dr Edo Heyns – Advini South Africa Strategic Development Director: