Kanonkop is a 4th generation family-owned estate, which is now in the hands of brothers Paul and Johann Krige. The name Kanonkop is derived from a hillock (kop) on the Simonsberg Mountain above the estate from where, during the 17th and 18th centuries, a cannon (kanon) was fired to announce the arrival of sailing ships entering Table Bay. The roar of the cannon would be the signal to local farmers to load up their wagons with fresh fruit and vegetables and make the 50km journey to the harbour to barter their produce. In 1924, while heading up Oenology and Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Abraham Perold made a crossing of two grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Cinsault (once known as Hermitage in South Africa) that became Pinotage, a unique South African grape variety, which was first planted on Kanonkop in 1941. The first wines bearing the Kanonkop label were produced in 1973.
This 100% Pinotage is from thirty to sixty year old bush vines. Fermentation took place in open concrete fermenters at 28°C. The cap was punched down manually every two hours and the juice was drawn off the skins after three days. Maturation took place over six months in 225L French Nevers oak barrels – 80% new and 20% second fill.