MOM’S THOUGHTS ON WINE AND OTHER THINGS
Happy Heritage Month to everyone. PINOTAGE proudly South African.
In 1925 Perold successfully crossed Pinot noir and Cinsaut, which was then known as Hermitage. Hence the name Pino – tage. Prof. CJ Theron succeeded in rescuing and reproducing the original graftings, of which there were only four, and undertook the considerable task of evaluation.
Sixteen years later, Charl Theron de Waal (known as CT de Waal), produced the first barrel of Pinotage wine in 1941 in Stellenbosch. The name appeared on a wine label for the first time in 1961, namely the Stellenbosch Farmers Winery’s 1959 Lanzerac Pinotage.
But some unanswered yet pertinent questions remain: Why did Perold cross Pinot Noir, the prince of French red grape varieties, with Hermitage, a much more humble variety which did, however, perform well under local conditions? Did he, being the intellectual giant that he was, perhaps have a good idea of what the end product could be? He did not leave any notes to explain his choice.
There was general excitement at the results of the early commercial plantings of Pinotage vines. The grapes ripened early, high sugar levels were achieved easily and the vines stayed healthy and vigorous. The early wines also showed a deeper, more intense ruby colour than either parent did. Some tasters liked the vinosity of the newcomer, others were deterred by the acetone-like quality which was to bedevil Pinotage’s development for many decades.
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