Pinotage Wine Tour in Stellenbosch and Franschoek - 1 Day

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is unique to the South African Wine Industry. The story of Pinotage starts with its creator, Prof. Abraham Izak Perold. Perold’s academic achievements paved the way for the creation of Pinotage in 1925. The professor successfully crossed Pinot noir and Cinsaut, which was then known as Hermitage, hence the name Pino – tage. While Pinotage is also grown in Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, United States and Israel, to name just a few, its birthplace remains South Africa.

The Pinotage tale is one worth well telling and should always end where it is enjoyed with friends, food or maybe even somewhere alone with a bottle of Pinotage as your company. Pinotage has health benefits when consumed in moderation is a bonus. Numerous studies have shown that the moderate consumption of red wine could be beneficial to your health. This is because red wine contains high concentrations of resveratrol, an antioxidant that shows abilities to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

The Pinotage Experience tour takes you through the premier wine-producing region of Stellenbosch and Franschoek. As well as fantastic wines, you can expect scenery that will take your breath away, lush green valleys, rugged mountains and historical buildings. You will enjoy a cellar tour, wine tastings at three top wine estates that offer great quality of Pinotage Wines as well as to learn more about the grape varietal itself. Enjoy walks in the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschoek that will take you back to history with the aim to acquit yourself with the arrival of different European cultures that have since integrated with locals making South Africa a country diverse and unique, priding itself in the art of winemaking.

Places of Interest

First Vineyard

Lanzerac is steeped in spellbinding history, having been established in 1692 – a mere 13 years after Stellenbosch itself and is the third oldest farm in the area. The first owner was Isaac Schrijver who planted the very first vineyards and, unsurprisingly, named the farm Schoongezicht, meaning wonderful view.

In the early 1800’s the first cellar was erected and subsequently complemented by the iconic Manor House, which exhibits an unusually high level of sophistication for Cape Dutch architecture of the period with its main gable dating back to 1830.

Steeped in history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a historic landmark and Stellenbosch icon. The grande dame is synonymous with old-world charm and rich Cape heritage. Positioned in the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley on the outskirts of the historical town of Stellenbosch, the Estate boasts views of dramatic mountain ranges, endless rows of lush vineyards and hectares of gardens shaded by giant Oak trees.

Stellenbosch

The beautiful little town of Stellenbosch, roughly an hour from Cape Town, lies surrounded by the Stellenbosch Mountains in the Jonkershoek River Valley in one of the most picturesque settings in the Cape.

The second oldest town in South Africa has fondly been called ‘Eikestad’ or city of oaks and its streets are lined with some of the most beautiful surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cape. Dorp Street is a national monument and taking the time to walk around this cosy old part of Stellenbosch, with its secluded lanes, water furrows, cosmopolitan restaurants and coffee bistros, with superb views of mountain, vineyards and orchards, is an idyllic morning venture.

Second Vineyard

One of South Africa’s top red wine cellars, the Stellenbosch producer is unrivalled as a Pinotage specialist. With 150ha of vineyards based in the premium wine district of Stellenbosch, Beyerskloof ensures the growth of their quality-driven, oak matured, hand-pressed premium range of wines.

Franschoek 

The French corner of the Cape, Franschhoek lies in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world, just 45 minutes’ from Cape Town and within half an hour of the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Somerset West wine routes. This traditionally French town is the food and wine capital of the country and one would be hard pressed to dispute the claim.

Eight of the top 100 restaurants in the country are found in Franschhoek, there are 30 wine cellars and over 28 restaurants from which to choose for your gastronomic experience.

Third Vineyard

Franschhoek Cellar, a beautiful asset to the Franschhoek wine route, combines the charms of leisurely country life with the elegance of a world-class venue. Enjoy wine tastings paired with Belgian chocolate or handmade cheese. Dine on alfresco style lunches in our fabulous garden, or sip on an artisanal beer in our bistro & beer garden. Franschhoek Cellar has a special selection of unique event venues within the space to ensure we host your most memorable occasion.

Itinerary

Day 1

• Visit one of the oldest vineyards dating back to 1692 that became an historic landmark and Stellenbosch icon. Also, home to the very first bottled Pinotage wine. Positioned in the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley on the outskirts of the historical town of Stellenbosch, the vineyard boasts views of dramatic mountain ranges and endless rows of lush vineyards and hectares of gardens by giant oak trees.
• Enjoy a wine tasting from the premium range and a cellar tour guided by one of the vineyards expert wine advisors
• Stellenbosch city orientation
• Walk through the town of Stellenbosch to view some of the beautiful European architectural styles of various buildings.
• Next stop is a visit to a vineyard that is known to be the home of Pinotage. Enjoy a tasting of a diverse wine portfolio, ranging from easy drinking to more premium wines (which is all Pinotage and Cape Blends).
• Drive along the scenic Helshoogte Pass
• (Helshoogte Pass, one of the most loved and travelled roads in the Western Cape, links Stellenbosch with the Drakenstein Valley, a scenic pass that transports one over the saddle that separates Simonsberg from the Jonkershoekberge and wends its way past fruit farms and vineyards en route.)
• Franschoek free time walk about
• Our last wine stop is at a well-known vineyard in Franschoek. In a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere enjoy a selection of Pinotage wines paired with snacks to enhance the flavours of the wine.
• Visit the Huguenot Monument
• View statue outside Nelson Mandela former prison

Pinotage Wine Tour Includes

  • • Pick up and drop off at your accommodation
  • • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • • Qualified tourist guide
  • • Wine tasting from the premium range (Vineyard within Stellenbosch)
  • • Cellar tour
  • • Enjoy a tasting of a diverse wine portfolio of Pinotage wines (Vineyard with Stellenbosch)
  • • Pinotage wines paired with snacks (Vineyard with Franschoek)

Pinotage Wine Tour Excludes

  • • Meals
  • • Any additional purchases to the itinerary

Questions About The Tour

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What Is Pinotage?

Pinotage is a red wine made from the grape of the same name—a cross between pinot noir and cinsault (also known as cinsaut) grapes. The pinotage grape variety grows best in upright bush vines, also known as “goblet vines,” a form of un-trellised vine training favored by many old-vine vineyards in particularly warm climates, in which growers maintain the main branch by only pruning the newer canes come winter. The result is a gnarly, bulky cordon in the shape of a thick goblet stem with the additional benefit of a leafy canopy, which prevents the grapes from absorbing too much sun.

What Is the History of Pinotage Grapes?

Pinotage grapes were first created in 1925 by a South African scientist named Abraham Izak Perold, Stellenbosch University’s first viticulture professor. Perold created a hybrid of the pinot noir grape and the cinsault grape (then known locally as “hermitage,” giving pinotage the latter half of its name). When Perold left the university two years later to join the KWV, a winemaking cooperative, the experimental seeds he’d planted were left behind in his garden. They were rescued by a young lecturer, who brought them to the Elsenburg Agricultural College, where work progressed on the new cultivar. In 1995, the Pinotage Association was founded in an effort to legitimize the flagship red varietal of South African winemaking on the world stage.

Where Are Pinotage Grapes Grown?

Pinotage was first cultivated in earnest in Stellenbosch, a productive wine region in South Africa’s Western Cape region, and is still mostly grown there. Pinotage is often used in blends with the area’s main grapes—cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. The grape variety is also found in many different formats, from rosé and sparkling reds. Pinotage can be drunk young, in a table wine, for example, or aged for a few years in the cellar. Pinotage isn’t commonly grown for consumption in wine regions outside of South Africa. Some vintners in regions with similar, warm growing conditions, like parts of northern California, New Zealand’s North Island, and Israel, are now experimenting with the varietal.

What Does Pinotage Taste Like?

Pinotage, primarily known for its dark, ripe fruit flavors like blackberry, cherry, and fig, has a bold, sweet jammy flavor with a smoky, earthy finish. Pinotage is a high-sugar, high-ABV, full-bodied grape with medium-high tannins. However, if the grapes soak up too much heat towards the end of their growing season, they can take on an unpleasant, acrid taste.

How to Pair Pinotage With Food?

Pair South African pinotage with foods that echo its character: Roasted, smoky meats marinated in or served with dark, jammy fruits like plum. The sweet-spicy balance of some barbecue sauces is also a good match for the South African wine. Pinotage is quite full-bodied, but it does carry enough tannins and acidity to match up with anything distinctly savory, like pepperoni or sausage pizza, or a hearty wintertime braise.

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Pinotage Wine Tour in Stellenbosch and Franschoek