Paarl & Wellington wine tourism celebrates the roots of Pinotage

The Paarl & Wellington wine routes are celebrating International Pinotage Day on Saturday, 13 October, by paying homage to the father of this proudly South African varietal, Professor Abraham Izak Perold.

According to Annelize Stroebel, general manager of Paarl and Wellington Wine & Tourism, the region can proudly claim the title of being the pinnacle of Pinotage as Perold was born in the beautiful Boland town of Paarl in 1880.  “Abraham Perold has left an indelible mark on the winemaking industry and is widely considered as the pioneer of modern South African viticulture.  As the father of Pinotage, he richly deserves his place in the South African winemaking industry and we are very proud of this local icon.  It is therefore quite natural that Pinotage has become one of our region’s most successful varietals with producers receiving scores of accolades for their magnificent Pinotages,” mentions Stroebel.

Perold matriculated from the small town of Wellington and received a bursary to study in Germany.  After completing a doctorate in Chemistry, he returned to lecture at the University in Cape Town before going on a government mission to explore other grape varietals that might be suitable for planting in the Cape.

On his return with 177 potentially suitable varietals, he was appointed as the first professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch and later became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture.  His groundbreaking work resulted in the successful crossing of Pinot Noir with Cinsaut, then known locally as Hermitage, which culminated in the indigenous varietal Pinotage.

Professor Perold returned to Paarl to take up a position with KWV, a globally recognized brand that is celebrating its centenary this year, and his legacy is still maintained with a wine in their extensive portfolio named after him.  Perold passed away in 1941 and his grave can be found at Augusta Kleinbosch, just outside Paarl.

Several producers in Paarl and Wellington are offering special activities to celebrate International Pinotage Day.  Find a special discount on Landskroon Pinotage from their online shop and cellar door from 8-13 October. Enjoy a vertical tasting of South Africa’s first white Pinotage paired with delicious traditional delicacies at Mellasat.  Painted Wolf Wines are offering free tastings of five of their Pinotages to showcase the versatility of this varietal.  Tastings available from 11-13 October, with the tasting room staying open till 17h00 on Saturday. Rhebokskloof will be serving a complimentary traditional “paptert” canape & Pinotage pairing at their tasting room.

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