1953 was the year that one of South Africa’s first Pinotage vineyards was planted with a view to production on a commercial scale – this after years of propagation and nurturing that followed the crossing of Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut) at Stellenbosch University in 1925.
The Bellevue Wine Estate started out as a livestock farm long before it made history as the centre of commercial Pinotage cultivation in South Africa. The vineyard at Bellevue was a source of grapes for the first Pinotage wine to go on sale – a 1959 vintage released in 1961. Their flagship wine is still from a single-vineyard of the oldest Pinotage plantings on record. Today, a trio consisting of owner and winemakers Dirkie Morkel, Wilhelm Kritzinger and Anneke Potgieter incorporate the harvests of these gnarly old vines with innovative production methods to produce award winning wines. Their characteristic, closely planted bush vines lend themselves naturally to sustainable, biodynamic cultivation, while delivering fruit with intense and concentrated flavour.