Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pinotage


Synonyms
None
Origin and cultivation background
Pinotage is a South African red wine grape cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut noir.

Cultivation characteristics
Moderate vigor with a fairly upright growth habit - grows very successfully as goblet (bush) vines in certain areas; however, trellising on small trellises is beneficial.  The basal buds are very fertile (two to three bunches per allocated bud) and satisfactory yields are produced when spur pruned. 

When Pinotage is cultivated under tough conditions (water stress, high temperatures during ripening), the resulting wine often develops a spray paint character (associated with high levels of isoamyl acetate). This undesirable character can be controlled by carefully adjusting and monitoring the vinification techniques so that a subtle, banana-like fruitiness is added to the wine. Under softer cultivation conditions, a more outspoken Pinot character often develops.

The choice of different terrains contributes to the potential of producing two distinguishable styles of Pinotage wine. Middle to higher eastern slopes on deeper soil with good water-retention properties are best for Pinot-like Pinotage wines. Under these conditions, Ruggeri 140 is recommended as rootstock, especially if irrigation water is limited. 

For the banana-like wine style, western slopes that are not subjected to south-westerly winds should he used, with Richter 110 as rootstock Pinotage ripens fairly early and in some years it is possible to avoid the hard ripening conditions at the end of the season Not excessively susceptible to oidium and downy mildew but less resistant to botrytis rot than Cabernet Sauvignon — no serious problems are experienced because it ripens earlier. Good compatibility with commercial rootstocks.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
Yield potential: 10--15 tons per ha
Average sugar concentration:  2 2 —2 5° B
Average acid concentration: 6—8 g/l

Clone characteristics
The available clones are characterised by full, fruity wines with strong tannins.

MORPHOLOGY
Shoot tips
• Felty, white.

Leaves
Medium to reasonably large, elongated, five- lobed, dark green, leathery, crimped, webby  underneath. The petiole sinus is lyre-shaped and narrow. The lateral sinuses are medium to deep, wide and pointed. Teeth (small and sometimes more than one) often occur in the lateral sinuses. The teeth are convex, broad and blunt. The petiole is green with a light
pink sheen.
Bunches
Relatively small to frequently medium-sized, conical to cylindrical, medium to compact.
The peduncle is short
Berries
Small, oval, dark when fully ripe with a moderate bloom, The skin is thick and tough
The pulp is soft and juicy. The texture is  watery, with a light, flavourful taste.

PHENOLOGY
Bud burst
Beginning of September (5 to 1 0 days earlier
than Cabernet Sauvignon).
Flowering
End of October to beginning of November (5 to 21 days earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon).
Ripening
Early, second half of February 4 to 5 weeks . earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon).

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