2022 Absa Top 10 Finalists Announced

Media Release 18 August 2022 

The Past, the present and the future of Pinotage

All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record of an event. The history of Pinotage cannot be told without mentioning its lineage of pioneers the likes of Abraham Izak Perold, CT de Waal, Duimpie Bayly, Beyers Truter. History will always matter – it is how legends are born. 25 years ago, the Pinotage Association launched the Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards.  Driving excellence and quality by creating awareness, researching, and changing perceptions of Pinotage. “For Pinotage to be excellent, it requires this attention to detail. Pinotage takes longer to master than any other varietal and it needs meticulous planning.  When you get it right though, it’s exceptionally versatile,” says Beyers Truter, Chairman of the Pinotage Association. The association set to work, gearing towards an optimistic future for Pinotage.  The rise of Pinotage was powered by passion and enabled by a strong partnership with Absa. Their unwavering support and industry expertise meant this local varietal could deliver to its full potential. Absa states that it has been a great joy to see the success of Pinotage over the years.  From something that started as an experiment in 1925, we now see more and more top wine estates producing excellent quality Pinotage that gets recognised across the world. While its origins were humble, Pinotage today has been elevated to an exceptional expression, one that entices, pairs, ages, and earns respect.
Pinotage in Numbers
As of 2021/22 Pinotage is the 7th most planted grape varietal, with over 6 570 hectares total area under Pinotage vines. Both the local and international appetite for Pinotage is growing.  According to the latest stats from SAWIS, the future of Pinotage is optimistic. Total Domestic litres - 4 611 590.  Total International litres - 19 969 571.  Percentage in wine regions - 0.5% Klein Karoo, 0.6% Northern Cape, 1.0% Cape South Coast, 6.2% Worcester, 8.3% Olifants River, 11.6% Robertson, 13.5% Breedekloof, 18.2% Stellenbosch, 19.6% Paarl, 20.4% Swartland.
The Awards
The Absa Top 10 Pinotage Awards is an annual competition held to celebrate the premium Pinotage wines of South Africa. The competition was launched in 1997 with the intent to improve the quality of Pinotage. Absa Bank is a proud sponsor of the Pinotage Association and has since enjoyed a solid collaboration over the past 25 years. Today, Absa remains the proud sponsor of the annual awards and is committed to the relationship with the association. 
Stylistically, Pinotage has elicited strikingly different opinions and preferences, which concluded that different styles need to be embraced.  At the same time, fine Pinotage will always be prudent of terroir and not chasing trends - Samarie Smith, 2022 panel convener.  This year the Absa Top 10 finalists reflect this - with Stellenbosch flaunting-6, Durbanville-3, Swartland-3, Voor-Paardeberg-2, Paarl-2, with Tulbagh, Wellington, Bottelary areas also being represented in the line-up. A special thank you and acknowledgement to the 2022 Judges: Samarie Smith, Fred Viljoen, Solly Monyamane, Etienne Louw and Jacques Steyn. This panel of experienced and respected judges have contributed to the success of presenting the 2022 Absa Top 10 Pinotage finalists. Watch Video https://youtu.be/-cEa73pKSfU
The entries statistics highlight the relevance of the Absa Top 10 competition. Since the start of the competition a total of over 3 100 entries have been received, an average of 119. In 2022 the entries were 130.
Movers and Shakers
There are several movers and shakers in this season.  The association congratulates those winemakers, industry icons and ambassadors.  Please note in some instances of our Absa Top 10 finalists the winemaker is represented by the current winemaker at the estate.

2022 Absa Top 10 Pinotage Finalists

Wine Year WO Winemaker
Beeslaar Pinotage 2020 Stellenbosch Abrie Beeslaar
Beeslaar Pinotage 2019 Stellenbosch Abrie Beeslaar
Beyerskloof Winemakers Reserve Pinotage 2018 Stellenbosch Anri Truter
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2020 Stellenbosch Anri Truter
De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2019 Durbanville Charles Hopkins
Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve 2016 Durbanville Thys Louw/Juandre Bruwer
Durbanville Hills Collectors Reserve The Promenade Pinotage 2019 Durbanville Wilhelm Coetzee
Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2020 Breedekloof Gerhard Swart
Kanonkop Pinotage 2019 Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Abrie Beeslaar
Neil Ellis Bottelary Hills Pinotage 2018 Bottelary Warren Ellis
Survivor Terroir Pinotage 2020 Swartland Ben Snyman
Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2020 Swartland Ben Snyman
Brink Family Vineyards Pinotage 2019 Swartland Dewald Huisamen
Rijk's Reserve Pinotage 2016 Tulbagh Adriaan Jacobs
Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2019 Stellenbosch Michael Malan
Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2019 Voor-Paardeberg Matthew Copeland
Vondeling Bowwood Pinotage 2018 Voor-Paardeberg Matthew Copeland
Wellington Wines La Cave Pinotage 2019 Wellington Francois van Niekerk/Daniel Slabbert
Windmeul Reserve Pinotage 2019 Paarl Abraham van Heerden/Michael Kotze
Windmeul The Legend Collection Pinotage 2020 Paarl Abraham van Heerden/Michael Kotze


The Vintage Class category, open exclusively to Pinotage wines that are 10 years or older, has been established to showcase how well Pinotage ages. This class demonstrates that top Pinotage wines are fulfilling their promise of great maturation potential. By highlighting age-worthy Pinotage wines. The Vintage Class further advances the appeal of this uniquely South African grape. The future of this category is in the process of an exciting enhancement and will be announced soon. Entries for the class are steadily increasing since the inception of the category in 2017.  With a total of 74 entries since the inception of the competition, and all wines are representative of the exceptional aging ability of Pinotage. The association encourages producers to enter this category. 2022 boasts 5 finalists, namely, Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011, Hill & Dale Pinotage 2009, Lanzerac Pinotage 2001, Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Pinotage 2012, Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2012. The Pinotage Association congratulates all the 2022 finalists and wish each best of luck for the upcoming awards.  Winners will be announced 30 August 2022.   -End- Contact Details | Belinda Jacobs | 079 879 9705 | brand@pinotage.co.za

2022 Absa Top 10 Finalists Announced

Shop Here