AALDERING’S ODES TO PINOTAGE
Within the Pinotage grape lies the potential for greatness: deep-coloured, dark, fruity wines with delectably enticing aromas. However, it takes a skilled winemaker to coax this greatness out. At Aaldering, our winemaking team has dedicated years to mastering the nuances of this cultivar.
The process begins with the meticulous selection of the very best grapes from the vineyard, eliminating any inferior fruit in the months leading up to harvest. What remains is the result of months of precise viticulture.
The grapes undergo sorting on a shaker table, followed by destemming and crushing before being allowed to cool. They are then transferred to a tank for cold soaking, a process that lasts for two to four days. This method extracts the grapes’ delightful fruit-driven flavours without extracting excessive tannins, which could result in bitterness. Fermentation is initiated by raising the temperature, and the juice is circulated two to four times daily to keep the skins wet and cool while extracting colour and structure. This process continues until fermentation is complete. The juice is then separated from the skins and drained into a stainless steel tank. Several days later, the wine is pumped into barrels, where it ages for 16 months before being bottled.
A few years ago we planted Pinotage bush vines and we expect to harvest these (extra) special grapes in the upcoming 2024 harvest.
At Aaldering, the expertise of our winemaking team, combined with our favourable location, which includes the unique soil, proximity to the sea, and favourable weather conditions, all come together in the crafting of four exquisite Pinotage varieties.
Aaldering Estate Lady M
Lady M offers a tantalising bouquet of juicy plum and dark fruit aromas, complemented by subtle notes of red berries, mocha, and dark chocolate.
This wine stands as a remarkable testament to the versatility of Pinotage. In contrast to our other Pinotage varieties, Lady M, named after Marianne Aaldering, does not undergo maturation in wooden barrels, resulting in an elegant unwooded red wine. Lady M boasts a full-bodied character with velvety tannins that provide a luxurious backdrop to the rich, dark fruit flavours. Its vibrant acidity also imparts a lingering finish to the palate, enhancing the overall experience.
Aaldering Estate Pinotage Rosé
The Aaldering Estate Pinotage Rosé offers a delightful symphony of strawberry and raspberry aromas, perfectly complemented by hints of candy floss and red cherry.
This gracefully salmon-pink wine, tinged with a subtle hint of orange, graces the palate with a creamy texture that lingers delightfully. This sensation is owed to the wine’s natural acidity and its core character. Crafting this Pinotage Rosé involves a meticulous process where the grapes, post-destemming, are promptly cooled and transferred into the press before the onset of fermentation. Juice extraction begins immediately, with the final drops of juice extracted at minimal pressure to achieve the captivating light salmon-pink hue. Subsequently, sediment settles, and the wine is carefully separated. Fermentation is then initiated, and the bottling takes place a few months later.
Aaldering Estate Pinotage Blanc
Elevated by prominent strawberry and candy floss aromas, this wine reveals a harmonious blend of green apple and pear notes.
This exceptional Blanc de Noir wine exhibits a nearly crystal-clear appearance, with just a subtle blush that hints at its Pinotage lineage. Beyond the initial strawberry and candyfloss impressions, you’ll discover a captivating interplay of sweet red berry flavors, artfully balanced by the gentle tartness of cherry. Subtle hints of pink marshmallow and stone fruit add to its complexity. To craft this wine, harvested grapes are pressed as whole bunches.
Women of the World – Pinotage Rosé – Magnum
This exquisite rosé offers delightful notes of violets, ripe strawberries, honeydew melon, and a touch of vanilla.
Our Women of the World Pinotage Rosé, with its captivating misty pink hue, is now available in a magnum size, elegantly presented in a transparent bottle that beautifully showcases the vibrant colour of this Provence-style rosé. The bottle itself is adorned with striking original artwork, making it a true collector’s item. The wine within exhibits a full-bodied character and is driven by its fruit-forward nature, delivering delicate and enticing flavours.
For those located in South Africa, you can visit our online store here (https://www.aaldering.co.za/shop/) to acquire a bottle (or more) and join in the celebration of October, Pinotage month!