Pinotage at Bellevue

Bellevue Wine Estate

The first Pinotage plantings made their way onto Bellevue soil in the early 1950’s.

Pinotage was cultivated by Prof A I Perold around 1925 when he crossed Cinsaut and Pinot noir. The first Pinotage cuttings made their way onto Bellevue soil in the early 1950’s when P.K. Morkel was attempting to obtain Gamay Noir for planting. He was not able to find the cultivar he was looking for and approached the Agricultural College at Elsenburg.

He was advised to try the newly developed variety, called Pinotage. At that stage, there were no commercial plantings of this variety, only experimental vines cultivated by the college. In 1953, together with Paul Sauer from Kanonkop, PK Morkel was one of the first few farmers to plant Pinotage on a commercial scale. His bold step paid off, since Bellevue’s Pinotage was awarded the Genl. Smuts Trophy in 1959, being the best young wine on the South African National Young Wine Show.

To salute the vision and bravery of PK Morkel, Bellevue takes utmost care of the 1953 Pinotage block which is still in production. It remains the Pride and Joy of Bellevue and a very special wine is made from this block, called Bellevue 1953 Pinotage