Pinotage is South Africa’s signature Red Wine grape

Pinotage was created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University. Perold was attempting to combine the best qualities of the robust Cinsault (also known as Hermitage) with Pinot Noir, crossing a Rhone and Burgundy cultivar.

The first Pinotage wine was produced in 1941.

7,140 hectares are planted in the Cape representing 6% of total plantings.

The Vines

The Vine is semi-upright with average shoot growth. Leaves are large and thick with 5 lobes. Bunches are compact, whilst berries are a conical shape with thick blueish-black skins. Pinotage bush vines produce a low yield with compact bunches and berries with firm tannins. Trellised vines produce a higher yield and grapes are very fruity.

It ripens early which has good advantages in hot areas. The soil type will also influence yield.

Pinotage has a good resistance to disease.

Vineyard Management

Vineyard management is critical in the growing season to prevent over cropping with too many bunches. Shoots are thinned and topped and leaves broken out to allow sun and light to penetrate the leaves and berries.

Pinotage should not be over irrigated and irrigation is only applied at budburst, flowering and veraison.

Rijk’s have low yielding, well-drained vertical shale soils perfect for excellent quality bunch development.

In the Cellar

In the cellar, grapes are harvested at night to retain freshness and flavours. A 48-hour cold maceration is given prior to fermentation to extract colour and fruit. During fermentation, manual punch downs are done three times a day.

Skins are gently pressed before fermented dry. Matured for 22 – 24 months in French and American 300 litre oak barrels and then racked for maturing and ageing.

Wine Analysis over last 10 years

Alcohol 14 – 15 %
Acidity 7 – 8 g/l
ph 3.2 – 3.5
Residual Sugar 2 – 3 g/l