An amazing claim in the New Statesman. “Winemakers deliberately created an unsatisfying mixture of Cinsault and Pinot Noir” and called it Pinotage. Will WOSA or the Pinotage Association sue for lost sales in the UK? In an unbelievable irony, the story is being given publicity on Twitter by Su Birch, former head of WOSA, who calls it “strange.”
Certainly a complaint should be sent to the UK Press Complaints Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am a Pinotage producer and am happy to complain in my personal capacity – as the Hermit on the Pill frequently does – but a complaint from a representative body will carry more clout.
The strap to the story suggests “the new multicultural South Africa should stop banging on about Pinotage and embrace Cinsault, a French grape so cosmopolitan that it’s even comfortable with curry.” Why would SA embrace a French grape as a calling card?
As for the UK national dish (curry), my own PinoTaj (above) is made from Pinotage from ancient dryland bushvines growing on my farm Lemoenfontein in the Swartland and was tailor made for curries – we designed the style in conjunction with Shyam and Harpreet Longani, chefs at the Taj hotel in Cape Town.
The NS story could be the break Pinotage has been waiting for. For too long the cultivar has been sniped at and rubbished in the press. If only I had Hugh Grant’s address, I’d send him a case of PinoTaj and sign him up as a Pinotage poster boy. Will the UK press be allowed to get away with it again this time?