Pendock: stirring up trouble on Pinotage
Slightly confused by a recent blog post by South African wine journalist Neil Pendock here. He quotes some comments I made (some time ago) on Pinotage.
Yes, I can understand how my hyperbolic, tongue-in-cheek remarks might have upset those who believe, like Pendock, that Pinotage is 'the national grape and the USP of South African wine'. But I don't see why he has to bring Wines of South Africa (WOSA) into it in the way he does.
Is he suggesting that WOSA should blacklist foreign press who are critical of Pinotage? Or that, if a journalist is hosted by WOSA, it is bad form, or impolite, for them to then be critical of any aspect of South African wine? [I'd have thought that WOSA is doing well if it reaches out to those members of the foreign press who are unconverted, or who are agnostic.]
Actually, I'm a friend of South African wine, as you'll see from the very positive coverage I've given to its top producers. But I disagree with Pendock about Pinotage.
I've had very good examples of Pinotage, but in terms of the South African wine industry moving forwards, Pinotage is not the USP he claims it to be. It should remain an important story in South African wine, but I think that the great examples of this variety are very few and far between. It's very difficult to make world class Pinotage.
South Africa's fine wine dimension is growing, and it's an exciting scene. But very few of the producers making world class wines are concentrating on Pinotage - most are avoiding it.
And as for the coffee-style Pinotages he refers to, they're an absurdity. Honestly.