Wine. It had to be wine on Day 6 of Tourism Month. Wine Not? Wine tourism is such a growing economy and such an interesting one. On the first Tuesday of every month Wine Village arranges a wine tasting at the Class Room Restaurant – round the corner from their shop in Hermanus. I arrived thirsty with Moleskine notebook to record Beyers Truter’s usual quips. He is a story-teller of note. Afrikaans and English are mixed in such a way that even the foreigners get the gist of the message. Fact and fiction are shared at the same speed that the wine is drunk. Fast. Lots of laughing.
Its was an evening of Pinotage. What else? Maybe a little blend here. And maybe an ale there. Essentially every drink poured spoke of Pinotage. Knowing that Beyerskloof sells a Pinotage burger at their winery restaurant, The Red Leaf Bistro, and having tasted their Pinotage ice-cream it still came as a surprise to taste a beer blended with Pinotage. The latest. Beyerskloof now also produces a unique blend of Pinotage and Irish Red Ale and calls it PinotAle. As unique as Beyers.
We tasted 11 wines ranging in age from a 2003 Pinotage Reserve to a 2015 Traildust. My favourites:
- 2003 Pinotage Reserve – needed a little time to lose the sharp nose and settle. Full tasting and soft drinking.
- 2004 Pinotage – well matured with a smooth taste. There are still 300 bottles available for sale and I reckon that this should be an easy sell.
- 2015 Traildust is matured for 15 months on French oak. A bargain buy according to Beyers. This wine is dedicated to everyone who has been part of the Pinotage journey.
- 2003 & 2014 Synergy. A Cape blend which requires 30 to 70% Pinotage. This blend also had Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 2014 Diesel. Named for Beyers’s Great Dane/Boerboel who passed, this wine is made from the best of the best. Respect. Carefully cultivated, well oaked and a team effort of four winemakers. This wine delivers a classic balance just like a good Pinotage should.
Of course there was talk of Abraham Izak Perold who crafted Pinotage. Truter mentioned that Perold could speak 8 languages, passed his degrees summa cum laude and was admired for his verbal and writting abilities by Afrikaans poet C Louis Leipoldt.
A good tasting all round. Variety, quality, humour, stories and even a bit of beer for balance. That’s Beyerskloof for you.