“Growing the Pinotage market was very difficult and quite slow initially,” he said. “When markets opened in 1994 we could start exporting and introduce the world to Pinotage. We’re still a few years behind other varieties in terms of popularity, but we’re growing.
“Coffee Pinotage has played a big role in introducing Pinotage to the public. Its marketing value has been outstanding and it’s led the public towards the more traditional Pinotages as well.”
Truter said the quality of Pinotage has improved over the years due to research and the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition, which has set a high standard.
“As farmers learn to properly cultivate Pinotage, so the quality improves,” he said. De Wet Viljoen, vice-chairperson of the Pinotage Association, said Pinotage has done a lot for South Africa. “It’s part of our heritage and so maintaining a high quality is important,” he said.