Pinotage Sweet 16 for L’Avenir Winemaker

Yesterday, 22 January 2024, marked the start of the 16th vintage at L’Avenir for winemaker Dirk Coetzee. At a time when winemakers who commit to the long haul are increasingly becoming a rarity, Dirk’s journey at L’Avenir is distinguished by reaching frontiers and a remarkable heartbeat for Pinotage.

While L’Avenir’s specialisation in Pinotage was clearly established by Dirk’s mentor, Francois Naude, in the 1990’s, he managed to take it to the next level, with viticultural precision, endless passion and a vision for the future of Pinotage. During this time, L’Avenir’s vineyard plantings increased from 21 hectares to today’s 38 hectares. This included planting bushvines and stok-by-paaltjie vineyards – often also on cooler slopes on the estate – with the objective of crafter wines that stand out for their elegance and finesse.

Dirk’s home town in the Garden Route is not called Wilderness for nothing. This beautiful and lush part of the coast instilled a deep appreciation for nature and the natural fynbos corridors, meticulous water preservation programme and regenerative approach to viticulture is testimony to how Dirk’s love for mother nature is also reflected in his work.

This year also marks the 10 year anniversary of Dirk’s visit to the revered French rosé specialist,   Château Gassier, which inspired the pioneering high-end Pinotage rosé, L’Avenir Glenrosé. International exposure and winemaking experience also influenced Dirk’s style of Pinotage, as well as the drive to reflect vineyard sites and soil in Pinotage.

Perhaps winning the Pinotage of the Year award in the authoritative 2024 Platter’s South African Wine Guide with the 2020 Single Block Pinotage is viewed as the pinnacle of Dirk’s winemaker career so far. However, the forever philosophical winemaker feels planting remarkable vineyards for his eventual successors is a more satisfying achievement. Fitting for a winemaker at a Stellenbosch estate which name means the Future.

About L’Avenir Wine Estate

L’Avenir is a leading Stellenbosch boutique winery that specialises in South Africa’s emblematic varietals: Pinotage and Chenin Blanc. Situated four kilometres from Stellenbosch on the lower slopes of Simonsberg Mountain, the Estate is right in the heart of South Africa’s most revered wine region.

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