What a fantastic level of interest there is in the annual Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition! Now in its 24th year, the competition attracted 149 entries from all the wine regions of South Africa. Despite periods of prohibition involving a ban on the domestic sale and transport of wine imposed by the government during a lockdown in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, industry participation in the Absa Top 10 is only slightly down in 2020 relative to 2019. One of the most sought-after South African wine accolades, its high level of support is such that for a number of top producers it is the only Pinotage competition they enter every year.

Regular Absa Top 10 laureates Rijk’s Wine Estate in Tulbagh and Beyerskloof of Stellenbosch fared particularly well this year with more than one finalist each, and most of the other wineries in the running to win a trophy are also no strangers to the podium. On the panel of experts entrusted with the judging were the following: Cape Wine Master and panel convenor Winnie Bowman, Tsogo Sun sommelier Georgio Meletiou, Spier cellarmaster Frans Smit, wine writer Fiona McDonald and viticulturist Solly Monyanane, a protégé judge in 2019.

Pinotage Association chair Beyers Truter is delighted with the quality of the wines and that they come from all over the Cape winelands: eight of the current/recent releases are from Stellenbosch, two each from Durbanville, the Swartland and Tulbagh, with Paarl, Robertson, Walker Bay, Wellington and Worcester also represented. Eight of the Top 10 finalists are from the 2018 vintage, but there are also wines from 2019 (two) and older vintages including 2017 (five), 2016 (three), 2015 and 2014.


Whereas in the growing Museum Class for wines at least 10 years old – testimony to the good ageing potential of top Pinotage – the finalists are from the Breedekloof, Stellenbosch and Tulbagh, with the oldest wine among them having been made from grapes harvested in 2007.

Tina Playne, Managing Executive of Sectors and Segments at Absa Retail and Business Bank, confirmed the group’s commitment to the Pinotage Association. “Our relationship has spanned over 20 years and it has been a privilege to be part of the development and growth of this uniquely South African varietal. Our continued partnership is vital to support South Africa’s position on the global wine map,” she added.

For the names of all the finalists together with where they originate from and who the winemakers are, see below. The winners will be announced at the end of September  – details to be announced in due course, dependent in part on whatever the COVID-19 lockdown regulations might be going forward.




Aan de Doorns Pinotage 2018
WO Worcester, Winemakers Gert van Deventer & Chris Geldenhuys

Anura Signature Pinotage 2017
WO Simonsberg-Paarl, Winemaker Stander Maass

Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2016 & 2017
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Anri Truter

Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2017
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Anri Truter

Conradie Family Vineyards Pinotage 2019
WO Western Cape, Winemaker CP Conradie

Delheim Vera Cruz Pinotage 2016
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Roelof Lotriet

Diemersdal The Journal Pinotage 2018
WO Durbanville, Winemaker Thys Louw

Durbanville Hills Collectors Reserve Pinotage 2017
WO Durbanville, Winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee

The Glen Carlou Collection Pinotage 2019
WO Swartland, Winemaker Johnnie Calitz

Kaapzicht Pinotage 2018
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Danie Steytler

Pulpit Rock’s Brink Family Vineyards Pinotage 2018
WO Swartland, Winemaker Dewald Huisamen

Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2015
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl

Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2014
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl

Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2018
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Michael Malan

Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2017
WO Stellenbosch, Winemaker Johan Jordaan

Springfontein Single Vineyard Jonathan’s Ridge Pinotage 2016
WO Walker Bay, Winemaker Tariro Masayiti

Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Single Vineyard Pinotage 2018
WO Robertson, Winemaker Fred Viljoen

Wellington Wines’ La Cave Pinotage 2018
WO Wellington, Winemaker Francois van Niekerk

Windmeul’s The Legend Collection Pinotage 2018
WO Paarl, Winemaker Abraham van Heerden


The Icon Vintage Class category  for wines 10 years or older , received great interest again this year with some exceptional wines making the shortlist.



Flagstone Writers Block Pinotage 2008
WO Breedekloof, Winemaker Gerhard Swart

Kanonkop Pinotage 2009
WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Pinotage 2010
WO Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, Winemaker Warren Ellis

Rijk’s Reserve Pinotage 2007 & 2010
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl

Rijk’s Private Cellar Pinotage 2010
WO Tulbagh, Winemaker Pierre Wahl


For more information, contact the Pinotage Association:
Website: www.pinotage.co.za
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PinotageWine
Twitter: @PinotageSA – #AbsaTop10Pinotage  #PinotageTop10
Email: brand@pinotage.co.za