Pinopasso: Taking Pinotage to a new level

Pinotage is as uniquely South African as chianti is Italian. What happens when you give this South African varietal some Italian style and passion? Pinopasso is what happens, And what is Pinopasso?!


Well, it’s a new and unique way of making pinotage … with a passionate Italian twist which gives the wine more flavour and more taste.

Let’s start at the beginning. The Bellingham Pinopasso 2014 pays homeage to the Italians who settled in South Africa after World War 2 , who lived and worked in the Cape and in fact built the white wine cellar at Bellingham after the war. “Those Italian viticulturists and winemakers played a major role in the South African wine industry, replanting vineyards and building cellars, and Italians still play a big role in the industry, bringing both innovation and new wine grape varieties to the country,” says winemaker Nil Groenewald. At Bellingham they don’t rest on their laurels, and believe that innovation is the way to get ahead in a very competitive wine industry. So, how do you take a wine grape variety and turn it into something special? Adopt the Ripasso way of making wine from Italy, was one option.

And it’s really simple, because the Ripasso style is where the wine from the previous vintage is passed over” the skins and pips of the new vintage. In other words, where wine from 2013 was passed over the skins of the 2014 vintage, which results in a wine with more flavour, a little more alcohol, and more complex structure.  A second contact with the skins ensures further extraction, interesting tertiary and multifaceted flavours and taste. The result is the perfect Tapas wine.

Nil describes this innovative, hand-crafted wine as “dark red with flavours of cherries, plums, and blueberries, and with spicy undertones”.

There is an emerging trend developing for red wines to be enjoyed on their own and not necessarily with with food, Pinopasso is exactly that. Nil suggests the wine be enjoyed on its own, slightly chilled, or if with food it works beautifully with antipasti, pasta, pizza, barbequed meat or even chicken salad.

Bellingham Pinopasso is a fruit driven wine with great structure, an alcohol content of 14% per volume and residual sugar of 9%,” adds Nil.

The Pinopasso retails for approximately R55 per bottle and available at most retail outlets nationwide.

So, if you enjoy the good life – good food, good wine and good company – make sure you don’t miss out on something very special.

Here’s to la dolce vita! Here’s to Pinopasso!

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