My name is Gerhard Perold, the great grand child of Abraham Izak Perold developer of the Pinotage grape variety. In 1925 he combined Hermitage(Cinsaut) and Pinot noir plants from France to create the Pinotage grape Varity. The first Pinotage wine was made in 1941. Today is grown widely all over south African wine regions given the world the Pinotage we know today.
My obsession about Perold’s work is driving me to bring the world the famous Pinotage and other premium wines from South Africa. I am my customers link to the best wines South Africa have to offer. I bring my customers a range of services for all needs from Tasting events to support choosing the correct wine for the personal palate.
Abraham Izak Perold was born in the Cape on 20 October 1880. He obtained first class B.A. degree in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in 1901. Perold’s results were good enough to earn him a bursary to study overseas. He obtained a Ph.D in Chemistry (summa cum laude) from the University of Halle an der Saale in Germany in 1904. He then went to Paris to explore his French origins and fulfill a promise to his father to learn French. Not only did Perold add fluent French to the fluent German he’d picked up at university, but two years of European travels added conversational Italian, Spanish and Portuguese to his linguistic repertoire.
Perold returned to South Africa in 1906 to a post as temporary professor in Chemistry at the University of Cape Town. But it wasn’t long before he was off overseas again. The Cape government wanted to extend the range of grapes planted in the region. They recognized Perold as the most qualified candidate to send on a scouting mission. He eventually returned with 177 varietals which formed the core of a collection which still exists at the Welgevallen Experimental Farm of the University of Stellenbosch. On his return, Perold became the first professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch. He later became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the university. He joined the KWV in 1927 and made a huge contribution to the wine industry during his time there. He died on the 11th December 1941.
Pinotage, a crossing of Pinot noir and Cinsaut, has seen its plantings rise and fall due to the current fashion of the South African wine industry. Today it is the second most widely planted red grape variety in South Africa. While there are supporters who want to make the grape South Africa’s signature variety, critics of the grape note that hardly any other wine region in the world has planted the variety due to its flaws. In the early 1990s, as Apartheid ended and the world’s wine market was opening up, winemakers in South Africa ignored Pinotage in favour of more internationally recognised varieties like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Towards the end of the 20th century, the grape’s fortunes began to turn, and by 1997 it commanded higher prices than any other South African grape. It is a required component (30-70%) in “Cape blends”. Here it is made into the full range of styles, from easy-drinking quaffing wine and rose to barrel-aged wine intended for cellaring. It is also made into a fortified ‘port’ style, and even a red sparkling wine. The grape can be very dependent on the style of winemaking, with well made examples having the potential to produce deep coloured, fruity wines that can be accessible early as well as age.
You can contact Gerhard Perold through his Perold Wine Cellar Facebook Page.
More details on the Perold Wine Cellar website