South Africa held back by poor site selection

Friday, 18 November, 2011
Gabriel Savage,
Morgenster cellar master Henry Kotzé has added weight to the argument that the "burnt rubber" character which continues to hold back the reputation of South African red wines is a product of the vineyard, not winemaking.
Attributing the issue to poor site selection, Kotzé (left) explained: “A lot of people planted anywhere just after apartheid”, as he argued that many varieties were simply planted in the wrong place.

Although the problem is becoming rarer and is most frequently associated with the sensitive Pinotage variety, Kotzé conceded that it can still be found in some of South Africa’s Bordeaux blends, the flagship style of Morgenster.

“There are certain areas where you know you’re not meant to plant Merlot that it will happen,” he remarked. “You need the right clones and the right cultivars on the right sites.”

Read on.