An ambitious new project could see the English enjoying their own Pinotage at the dinner table within the next five years. The project is being undertaken by Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens, in Horsham, Sussex, and is owned by Cape Town-based entrepreneur Penny Streeter OBE.
Penny has entrusted this project to Cellar Master Johann Fourie and they both have high hopes for the varietal. Johann believes that Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault and was developed in SA in 1925, could be the solution to the challenges which the English grape-growers face.
While producing the red wine, the team will gauge how the grape variety fares with local vineyard conditions. Johann believes that the thick-skinned Pinotage should make the grapes more resistant to rot while helping with the tannins and colour of the wine. Johann doesn’t seem to be to worried about failure though, saying, ‘fortunately Pinotage makes a good base for sparkling wine too; so if all else fails we’ll produce an English sparkling with a South African twist!’
British Fizz is now considered some of the world’s best and we are interested to see how Pinotage will fare in the cooler climates of the UK.