Backsberg Estate Cellars Welcomes Its First Dry Pinotage Rosé Wine


The growing demand for dry rosé from its established customer-base has led to the launch of Backsberg Estate Cellars’ maiden Pinotage Rosé. Made from the superb 2017 vintage, the Backsberg Pinotage Rosé 2017 is produced from grapes grown on the Backsberg Estate on the Paarl side of the Simonsberg, arguably South Africa’s premier wine-making address. This is the second rosé in the Backsberg range, complementing a semi-sweet wine made from Grenache and Shiraz.

“We had been planning a Pinotage rosé for some time,  as this grape has proven to make exceptional dry rosé wines,” says Simon Back, CEO of Backsberg Estate Cellars. “To produce our maiden wine from the 2017 vintage was an added bonus as the quality of this year’s harvest –  especially the red varieties – was exceptional. Despite the hot and dry conditions of spring and early summer, vineyard conditions were delightfully mild during the harvest. This resulted in perfect ripening conditions, delivering grapes with fine balance between sugar and acidity as well as magnificently complex fruit structure.”

Grapes for the Backsberg Pinotage Rosé were picked at 21 degree balling, just before optimal ripeness and so as to capture the bracing acidity and freshness required by this style of wine.

“The sweet spot for rosé is in allowing the juice sufficient contact with the red grape skins to give colour and a whiff of tannin complexity, but not enough of these to overpower the delicate composition and fruit profile this style of wine requires,” says Back.

As a result, the juice was drawn from the skins after six hours’ contact after which it was handled like a white wine, fermentation taking place in cooled stainless steel tanks.

“If there is one concept used internationally to describe the requirement of a dry rosé, it is freshness,” says Back. “This is what makes rosé so popular among consumers, together with the fragrant summer notes of berry-fruit and the slight complexity on the palate.”

Backsberg’s Pinotage Rosé 2017 exudes fruit flavours of cherry and strawberry, with a minty freshness, due to earlier picked fruit. The salmon pink coloured wine is lightly tinted from the red wine skins, but fruity and juicy on the palate, with subdued tannins. Delightful flavours of melon, ripe tropical fruit and strawberry are found in this wine, which is best served well-chilled.

For food pairings, look at seafood dishes and salads. Light meat lunches such as quiche and pastries. Mediterranean platters of olives and cheese, ham, French bread or ciabatta.

Recommended retail price: R55