Speaking at the launch of the competition at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, Beyers Truter, chairperson of the Pinotage Association, said Pinotage is a uniquely South Africa cultivar that represents the African spirit in its depth of flavour and range of aromas, and makes an ideal basis for the competition.
“The Cape Blend competition is long overdue,” he added. “There’s been much debate about what really constitutes a Cape Blend. Today, Pinotage has to form part of the blend, but we also include minimum and maximum percentages.” Blended wine should contain a minimum of 30% and maximum of 70% Pinotage.
KWV, where Prof Abraham Perold was chief oenologist when he created Pinotage, and which owns the Abraham Perold brand, granted the Pinotage Association permission to use the name for the competition.
The new competition won’t take the place of the Absa Top 10, inaugurated to raise the profile of Pinotage and assist winemakers in improving the quality of their wines. Instead, it will use the knowledge gained in the running of the Top 10, said De Wet Viljoen, vice-chairperson of the Pinotage Association.
The best Absa Perold Cape Blend will be selected in 2011 following a wine-tasting conducted by the Absa Top 10 judges.