Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition still going strong 21 years on
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The Pinotage Association and Absa are pleased to announce the finalists in this year’s Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition, which marks 21 years since it was started.

The finalists represent various South African wine districts – predominantly from Stellenbosch but also from Paarl, Wellington, Breedekloof and Robertson, mostly of the excellent 2015 vintage, plus some delightful entries from 2012, 2014 and 2016. As part of commemorating the 21 years of Absa’s involvement with the Pinotage Association and the Top 10 competition, this year 21 wines (instead of 20) were shortlisted after the first round of judging in advance of the eagerly anticipated trophy presentations next month.

Beyers Truter, founder and chairman of the Pinotage Association, reflects that: “When reaching a milestone such as this, one tends to look back at how far we have come, and I am absolutely amazed by the growth and quality of the category as well as the passion of Pinotage producers and stakeholders over the past couple of decades. One of the visions in launching the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition was to increase the quality standards and perceptions of this uniquely South African wine, and 21 years later, looking at the finalists, gauging how widely Pinotage has been embraced by cellarmasters and the wine-loving public, we are definitely on the right track. That there are now quality Pinotage wines originating from such a wide array of areas with various terroir, underlines the versatility of this grape and highlights the winemakers’ commitment to constantly improve, adapting to the environment and the challenges of the marketplace.”

Doug Walker, Managing Executive of Absa Western Cape, says the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition represents one of the longest-running corporate wine sponsorships in South Africa. 

“At Absa we are very proud of the journey we have travelled with the Pinotage Association, and to reach this important milestone together shows our commitment to support this locally produced wine. We wish to continue to grow awareness and popularity of the Pinotage variety in order to develop local wine industries even further,” says Walker.

“With the increasing popularity that Pinotage has attracted over the years, it has translated into increased activity among industry suppliers and farming communities. We are delighted with the advancements in the sector, but are especially proud of the greater ripple effect that the sponsorship has had on driving development in the sector, allowing the community at large to benefit and prosper. This is inline with our Shared Growth principle of conducting business in a way that promotes positive outcomes for society,” he adds.

 “We are certainly looking forward to the announcement of the winning wines for 2017, and thank the Pinotage Association, which has worked tirelessly and remained committed to this uniquely South African cultivar.”

The 21 wines being considered for Absa Top 10 Pinotage status this year are as follows:

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Anri Truter

Bon Courage Pinotage 2015 – WO Robertson, Winemakers Jacques Bruwer & Philip Viljoen

Delheim Pinotage 2012 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Altus Treurnicht

Delheim Vera Cruz Pinotage 2014 – WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Altus Treurnicht

Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Reserve 2015 – WO Wellington, Winemaker Francoise Roode

Flagstone Writer's Block Single Vineyard Pinotage 2015 – Somerset West Cellar, WO Breedekloof, Winemaker Gerhard Swart

Kanonkop Pinotage 2012 – WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2014 – WO Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, Winemaker Wynand Lategan

Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2015 – WO Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, Winemaker Wynand Lategan

Marianne Pinotage 2015 – WO Simonsberg-Paarl, Winemaker Jos van Wyk

Môreson MKM 2015 – Franschhoek Cellar, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Clayton Reabow

Môreson The Widow Maker Pinotage 2015 – Franschhoek Cellar, WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Clayton Reabow

Neethlingshof The Short Story Collection The Owl Post Pinotage 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker De Wet Viljoen

Neil Ellis Bottelary Hills Pinotage 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis

Neil Ellis Pinotage 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis

Rickety Bridge Pinotage 2015 – Franschhoek Cellar, WO Coastal, Winemaker Wynand Grobler

Stellenbosch Vineyards Bushvine Pinotage 2015 – WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abraham de Villiers

La Cave Pinotage 2016 – Wellington Wines, Winemakers Francois van Niekerk & Chris Smit

La Cave Pinotage 2015 – Wellington Wines, Winemakers Francois van Niekerk & Chris Smit

Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2015 – WO Paarl/Coastal, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden

Windmeul Pinotage 2015 – Paarl Cellar, WO Coastal, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden

The Pinotage Association and Absa Bank congratulate all of the winemaking teams associated with the Top 21 finalists, praising their hard work and commitment. The Top 10 laureates will be announced at an award ceremony to be held on 3 August at Cavalli Estate, Somerset West. 

For more information, contact the Pinotage Association:
Twitter: @PinotageSA - #AbsaTop10Pinotage #Pinotage21


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