A TALE AS OLD AS PINOTAGE
Updated: Jun 19, 2021
Experiencing the history of South African Pinotage at Lanzerac Wine Estate.
Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2018
In the #worldofwine, the unspoken rule is that you’ll never have a better #wine than to have the wine at the #domain. This can generally be true, but can also lead to unrealistic expectations. I mean how many times do you go to a big #winery and get a private #winetasting with the #winemaker in the #cellar? This would give anyone fuzzy feels and a signal that something special is in the air.
This however is not a story about any such experience. No #winemakers or private #cellartours here. What this is, is an account of something which in my opinion is far more valuable to someone like me, a nobody-startup, trying to make a ripple in an ocean. In advance, I’d like to write a thank you to the team at #Lanzerac for hosting me in such an incredible way. I can only hope the words and photos I’m about to write and share (while on my #kululaflight back to Pretoria) do the experience and people I met justice.
The Venue - Lanzerac
"Steeped in history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a historic landmark and Stellenbosch icon." - Lanzerac.
Nestled against the slopes surrounding #Stellenbosch you’ll find the pretty well-known #wineestate of Lanzerac. An estate steeped in #winehistory, not only because of what Stellenbosch represents in the #SouthAfricanwineindustry but also because of its ties to the commercialization of #Pinotage. South Africa's very own #grapevarietal, and yes they make a damn incredible Pinotage, but we’ll get to that in a bit I promise.
Entering the massive gates you are immediately greeted by the most amazing sight. A long, straight road, surrounded by #vineyards on both sides and tunneled by beautiful trees to the #cellar. This however is just a foreshadowing of what awaits behind the doors of the #tasingroom. A warm, fire-lit space that proudly showcases the farm's history and ties to Pinotage in South Africa. There is also a sneak peek down into the cellar and beautiful deli where you can find some #localcuisine and treats. All of this is tied together by a golden thread, the #Lanzeracstaff. This, however, I will save for the end.
"Home to the world's first bottled pinotage, our range of award-winning wines has been honed to maintain the excellent quality that Lanzerac Wine Estate has become known for." - Lanzerac, Stellenbosch
At the hands of my skilled #tastinghost, sitting next to the #fireplace, I was taken back in time with a tale as old as #pinotage.
Premium Chardonay 2020
Premium Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Premium Pinotage 2018
MCC Blanc de Blancs Brut
Mrs. English Single Vineyard Chardonay 2019
Le Général 2017
Pionier Pinotage 2018
Now for the #goodstuff. With so much history surrounding the farm, it's impossible to not have a few expectations. Also based on the fact that I had tried the 2013 #Cab a little while back, and I'm happy to report that they were all met and exceeded. One wine that stood out was the #PionierPinotage, a tribute to the world’s first #bottled Pinotage by the farm in 1959. A #grapevarietal created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, and is a cross between #Hermitage an #Pinotnoir. I like to tell people to let wine bring back fond #memories, and as I sat there, the sweet, subtle aromas of #molasses, #leather, and #oak, reminded me of a time from my #childhood. A time when I used to visit farms with my dad, and a farmer showed me for the first time that you could take #molasseslick from the feed trough and suck on it.
Now with the knowledge that not everyone will ever have a chance to #taste it, I would highly recommend the #PremiumPinotage as an excellent, #valueformoney #expression of its big sister and great Pinotage. The #MCCBrut and #MrsEnglishChardonay were also right up there as wonderful examples of their respective varietals.
If you'd like to see my #Vivino #tastingnotes and #ratings click here.
"A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly." - Homer
Tasting Room Manager (MF) and Tasting Host (Lindokuhle). Holding vintage bottle above (Brian).
Coming from a background in #hospitality myself, I am acutely aware of the importance #hosting plays in making a great experience truly memorable. This tasting was a true example and testament of just that. With the #atmosphere created by the incredible staff, I was able to not only #appreciate the history and stories surrounding the wines but was also able to find memory for myself. Something I am becoming a big advocate for.
Having started this journey of #wineblogging, #journaling, and #winecritiquing I had no idea what this first experience would be like. Yet despite some odd requests, for the #creativestuff, several hundred #photos, #InstagramStories, and #repours later, I can only hope that more of my #winetastingexperiences will be as memorable as this one. Thank you!
My Pick of The Tasting🍷
The Pionier Pinotage 2018 - A pure expression of South African Pinotage!
Written by Brenden Roberts