As the winners of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage are announced at an intimate function with only producers, a handful of guests present and hundreds online, the importance of nurturing partnerships lingers in the air.
Just over 24 years ago this prestigious competition started with a mere 35 or 45 entrants, today in-spite of the challenging start to 2020 – over 149 entries were received. This partnership between Absa and the Pinotage Association has been fostered to enable the excellence and growth of this uniquely South African cultivar. The progress the industry has made over the years is a testament to the success of wine being synonymous with our country. South Africa produces some of the best wines in the world and it gets the necessary publicity on the international front, which helps with the brand of South Africa. To appreciate the evolution of wine styles in terms of wines that conform to the classics of the world and to make this possible, it is about partnerships and consistency of an association that has a vision.
Beyers Truter, Chairman of the Pinotage Association says, “The Pinotage Association’s Vision2025 endeavours to get all stakeholders in sync with regards to pinotage research, knowledge transfer and marketing. We want to double pinotage’s contribution to the economy in the period ending in 2025, when pinotage will be celebrating its centenary. This will be possible with the commitment from our partner Absa and their continued support to the wine industry”. He also stressed on the improved quality of pinotage and winemakers greater understanding their terroir, these being the fundamental ingredients of the success recipe.
Absa, Managing Executive Western Cape, John Tshabalala expressed that Absa is proud to be partnering with the Pinotage Association to present the 24th Top 10 Pinotage Awards. This event is a highlight on Absa’s calendar and underscores the banks commitment to support the wine industry and Pinotage pioneers. “The local wine industry is not only synonymous with South African excellence but supports thousands of jobs while making a meaningful contribution to the economy and communities”, he stated.
A nurtured relationship between Absa and the Pinotage Association has made the Absa Top 10 competition one of the sought-after South African wine accolades. The expert judging panel, Cape Wine Master and panel convenor Winnie Bowman, Tsogo Sun sommelier Georgio Meletiou, Spier cellarmaster Frans Smit, wine writer Fiona McDonald and viticulturist Solly Monyanane, a protégé judge in 2019, were all entrusted to crown the 2020 winners.
Pinotage Association chair Beyers Truter is not only delighted with the quality of the wines but also that they represent the vast Cape winelands. The winner’s representation includes three from Stellenbosch, two from Durbanville, two from Paarl, one from Western Cape, one from Swartland, and one Worcester. Five of the Top 10 winners are from the 2018 vintage, 2019 (one), 2017 (three) and 2016 (one).
Whereas in the growing Icon Vintage Class for wines at least 10 years old – testimony to the good ageing potential of top Pinotage – the winners are from the Stellenbosch (2) and Tulbagh (1).
A heartfelt congratulations to all our 2020 winners!
2020 Absa Top 10 Pinotage Winners
Aan de Doorns Pinotage 2018
WO Worcester, Winemakers Gert van Deventer & Chris Geldenhuys
Anura Signature Pinotage 2017
WO Simonsberg-Paarl, Winemaker Stander Maass
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2017
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Anri Truter
Conradie Family Vineyards Pinotage 2019
WO Western Cape, Winemaker CP Conradie
Delheim Vera Cruz Pinotage 2016
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Roelof Lotriet
Diemersdal The Journal Pinotage 2018
WO Durbanville, Winemaker Thys Louw
Durbanville Hills Collectors Reserve Pinotage 2017
WO Durbanville, Winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee
Kaapzicht Pinotage 2018
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Danie Steytler
Pulpit Rock’s Brink Family Vineyards Pinotage 2018
WO Swartland, Winemaker Dewald Huisamen
Windmeul’s The Legend Collection Pinotage 2018
WO Paarl, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden
Icon VINTAGE CLASS Winners
Kanonkop Pinotage 2009
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar
Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Pinotage 2010
WO Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis
Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2010
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl