Americans in on the Pinotage Act

American pinotage.

SELLING Pinotage at $45 a bottle? Yes, but it is not a South African Pinotage.

Loma Prieta Winery, overlooking Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz coastline in California, first released a Pinotage in 2008. It has won three gold medals in “prestigious wine competitions”, reports winebusiness.com, but does not name the competitions. (Sounds like a South African PR industry press release. – Editor)

,Nevermind the gold medals, the wine ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ it appears to be fairly low volume – sold out immediately and the winery has just completed a second bottling of the 2008 vintage to meet demand.

,The 2008 Loma Prieta Pinotage is described as “a vibrant and racy wine, delivering a wild red fruit explosion of lively tropical and berry fruits, mingled with spicy cured meat and a wallop of red licorice”.

,The fruit came from its Amorosa Vineyard in Lodi and a new vineyard has been planted in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This vineyard is at an altitude of 2300 feet (about 800 meters) and was originally planted to Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet. All the Merlot and Cabernet vines have now been grafted to Pinotage.

,Winebusiness.com says there are less than 50 acres of Pinotage planted in all of California. Loma Prieta owner and winemaker Paul Kemp has contracted with several growers to produce additional tonnage for the 2010 vintage.

Riaan Smit

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3 thoughts on “Americans in on the Pinotage Act

  1. As reported at The Pinotage Club http://www.pinotage.org site on 13 May

    “So far this year the Loma Prieta 2008 ‘Amorosa Vineyard’ Pinotage has won Double Gold at the Florida State Fair International Wine Competition, and Gold at the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival in South Carolina, plus Gold at the prestigious San Francisico Chronicle Wine Competition, the worlds largest competition of American wines.”

    Note that Loma Prieta bought the grapes from Vino Con Brio winery’s Amorosa vineyard in Lodi. Vino Con Brio currently have the largest plantings of Pinotage in the USA.

    Peter F May
    author of
    PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine

  2. Hi Peter

    Thank you for the additional information. Have you tasted this wine? I hope the Americans plant a lot more Pinotage to give the cultivar traction in the US market.

  3. I have not yet tasted this label but I have had wine from Vino Con Brio from the same vineyard and very good it is too.

    America (USA and Canada) is planting Pinotage and sales appear good — as noted in the sell out first release of the $45 a bottle Loma Prieta — and that is encouraging more plantings. One challenge is getting the plant material and most of the vineyards are propagating the vines themselves.

    My book (which is available in SA) has details of more than 20 wineries commercially making Pinotage in California and three in Virginia.

    Peter F May
    author of
    PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa+ô+¦-+Gö£Göñ+ô+¦-úGö£-¦+ô+¦-úGö£Gòùs Own Wine

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