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Exploring the Wonders of Bellevue Wine in South Africa 2024

Bellevue Wine Estate in Stellenbosch - The first winery to cultivate pinotage!



We visit many wineries on our travels and they all have their own story.


The red grape variety synonymous with South Africa is Pinotage - these grapes were first created in 1925 by a South African scientist named Abraham Izak Perold, Stellenbosch University’s first viticulture professor. Perold created a hybrid of the Pinot Noir grape and the Cinsault grape (then known locally as “hermitage,” giving Pinotage the latter half of its name)


Four generations of the Morkel family have been farming at Bellevue since 1861. In 1953 Pieter (PK) Morkel became one of the first wine farmers to plant Pinotage commercially.



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 an exceptional wine is made from this block, called Bellevue 1953 Pinotage.


The farm now has new owners - it was purchased a few years ago by Marinus Neethling, who also owns Canto, an MCC-producing wine farm in Durbanville. 


Marinus and Dirkie Morkel have worked closely since the take-over. The 2024 harvest will be Dirkie's last as he has decided to hang up his pruning secateurs and retire to enjoy quality time with his family and relax after many years of hard toil.


Good luck Dirkie.


A member of the Morkel family is still very much involved with the farm. Theresa - daughter of Dirkie - is the Marketing Manager of the estate and today she guided us through our tasting.



We are going to change our selection of Bellevue wines and therefore bring some different varietals(and a new blend!) into the UK this year. So watch this space!




 



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