Silkbush Pinotage Changed Her Mind

(c) Julia Crowley, Courtesy


Pinotage is a mysterious grape in American wine culture, for now at least.  We are trying to change that by importing a bit of Pinotage from our mountain vineyards and taking the time to introduce it to wine enthusiasts. Julia Crowley, the Food and Wine Editor at Eugene (Oregon) Daily News, an award-winning blogger and a former wine shop owner has tasted a lot of wines but she admittedly did not understand Pinotage, until she tasted ours.  She tells the story in her review of Silkbush’s 2009 Pinotage.

My Thoughts on Pinotage are Forever Changed: Lion’s Drift Pinotage 2009

The first time I tried Pinotage (a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut), I was admittedly confused.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.  I was looking for specific characteristics; such as, cherries, red berries, smoke and earth.  Instead I experienced bananas, band-aids and paint – I was awfully disappointed.

Pinotage is South Africa’s signature varietal, so I had high hopes – especially since other South African wines I had tried left impressive lasting memories with their pleasant aromas, nice acidity, great balance and solid structure.  My thoughts on Pinotage went from hopeful to bleh.

My thoughts, however, were forever changed when I popped the cork on Silkbush Mountain Vineyards Lion’s Drift 2009 Pinotage.  Read More…



Pinotage: South Africa's Very Own Grape

While most noble grapes evolved in Europe over hundreds, if not thousands of years, and now have been cultivated in numerous wine growing regions of the world, Pinotage is unique. In 2009 South Africa celebrated only the 50th anniversary of the world’s first Pinotage wine commercially available; and, were it not for a fortuitous chain of events the grape would not exist at all! Eighty-seven years ago, in 1925, Professor Abraham Perold planted in his garden in Stellenbosch the hybrid seeds resulting from a crossing of Pinot Noir and Hermitage grapes He could not have anticipated that this act would forever be part of South Africa’s wine history, eventually growing to become an unique selling point around the world. Continue reading “Pinotage: South Africa's Very Own Grape”

Lions Drift: What’s it Mean?


We chose the Lions Drift brand name a few years back but awaited the appropriate moment for introduction with a proven and tested superior product. By 2008 we had sufficiently mature vines and were enjoying large enough crops that Silkbush could supply both our client wineries and have enough grapes available for wines under our own Lions Drift label.

In the interim, so many wine labels with animals on them came out that, as a grouping, the trade often refers to them as “critter wines.” However, we don’t think many will associate the noble Lion King, emblematic of Africa, with many little critters, as cute as they may be. Continue reading “Lions Drift: What’s it Mean?”

History of Silkbush’s First Wine, A Pinotage


Wondering why we have selected Pinotage as Silkbush Mountain Vineyards first export wine?  First and foremost, we know we have a terrific wine made from exceptional Pinotage grapes.

Bruce Jack, the highly talented and internationally recognized winemaker and founder of Flagstone Winery has been purchasing Silkbush Pinotage for several years. Bruce has been very laudatory of the fruit and our vineyard manager, Anton Roos. But the payoff was June 26, 2009 at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, one of the two most prestigious shows in South Africa. Continue reading “History of Silkbush’s First Wine, A Pinotage”