Absa Top 10 Pinotage Winners Announced

History is filled with unlikely, forbidden, even tragic romantic matches – Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, Dante and Beatrice and the most famous of them all, Romeo and Juliet. Pinotage, is similarly the child of such an unlikely and often scoffed at matches. It is a cross between Pinot-Noir, the Prince of French Grape Varietals; and The Black Prince, Hermitage, more commonly known today as Cinsaut.

We follow the journey of Pinotage, a controversial and uniquely South African cultivar onto the world stage. From inception – on the backdrop of the great South African gold rush – to overcoming global scrutiny and the challenges of apartheid and finally clawing its way to becoming the toast of the wine industry in the 21st century.

A Hundred year old story about one of the youngest wine varieties in the world and we are making a movie!

But, before we divulge too much, let us celebrate our 2022 Absa Top 10 Pinotage winners.

The 2022, Absa Top 10 annual awards was held at Nooitgedacht on the 30th of August 2022.  Industry, stakeholders, and producers gathered to celebrate some of the finest Pinotage wines.

Absa Bank is a proud sponsor of the Pinotage Association and the parties have enjoyed a solid collaboration over the past 25 years. Absa remains the proud sponsor of the annual awards and is committed to the relationship with the association. “Our collaborative, longstanding relationship with Absa Bank, and their 25-year investment in the Pinotage Association is testament to the bank’s understanding that agriculture is a generational and relational business,” says Chairman Beyers Truter.

“As the biggest financier of agriculture in South Africa and with over 100 years of experience, Absa is proud of our longstanding relationship with the Pinotage Association and excited to announce that we are extending our sponsorship for an additional three years,” says Faisal Mkhize, Chief Executive for Relationship Banking at Absa Group. “Pinotage is a national asset and has truly become a symbol of excellence and growth in South African agriculture. We believe that our support for this signature South African varietal is a tangible demonstration of our African heartbeat.”

Top 10 Pinotage Wines Vintage WO Winemaker
Beeslaar Pinotage 2020 Stellenbosch Abrie Beeslaar
Beyerskloof Winemakers Reserve Pinotage 2018 Stellenbosch Anri Truter
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
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
Windmeul Reserve Pinotage 2019 Paarl Abraham van Heerden/Michael Kotze
Vintage Class Wines Vintage WO Winemaker
Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011 Stellenbosch Anri Truter
Hill & Dale Pinotage 2009 Stellenbosch Guy Webber
Lanzerac Pinotage 2001 Stellenbosch Wynand Lategan
Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Jonkershoek Pinotage 2012 Jonkershoek Valley Warren Ellis
Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2012 Tulbagh Adriaan Jacobs

This year 130 entries were received, after the rigours judging process the above Pinotage wines where selected as the winners of the coveted Pinotage accolade. In the vintage class 8 entries where received.

“At this year’s judging tasting, 35 wines scored 90 points and above, for the judges to select only ten must have been a difficult task.  However, there is still 25-30 % scope for improving the quality of Pinotage.  This is possible when we create platforms to also recognize viticulturist.  The Pinotage Association introduces the Absa Viticulturist Award.  The inaugural awards will take place in 2023,” says Beyers Truter.

Furthermore, the Pinotage Association will be partnering with education institutes to help place students on a Pinotage Practical Programme. There are several areas of opportunity and exposure for both students and wine estates.

The association will also facilitate a practical educational experience for hospitality personnel, responsible for the sale of wines brands between the estate and the consumer.

The future of collaboration with our members, stakeholders and Absa is optimistic.

Congratulations to all winners and runners up for the 2022 Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards.


Contact Details | Belinda Jacobs | 079 879 9705 | brand@pinotage.co.za