Pongracz

Swiss International Air Lines Wine Awards 2006 – Bronze
Veritas 2003 - Bronze
Veritas 2005 - Gold
Light straw-coloured with a greenish tint, it has good mousse and a persistent bead. Classical yeast and biscuit character on the nose with a full fruit and acid balance on the palate and with a lingering aftertaste.


variety : Pinot Noir | 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
winery : 
winemaker : Melanie van der Merwe
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 12 % vol  rs : 11.0 g/l  pH : 3.17  ta : 6.2 g/l  

AWARDS
Swiss International Air Lines Wine Awards 2006 – Bronze
Veritas 2003 - Bronze
1994 Sparkling Wine of the year - Wine Magazine's International Wine Challenge.
Winner of the Schramsberg Trophy for the best bottle-fermented sparkling wine, International Wine & Spirit Competition, London, 1994.
Winner of the 1995 South African Airways Trophy for the best Méthode Cap Classic sparkling wine.
The only sparkling wine to win Double Gold at the prestigious 1998 Veritas Awards.
International Wine Challenge 2005 - Bronze
Veritas 2005 - Gold

ageing : With this wine, we pay homage to Desiderius Pongrácz, whose wisdom on wine and cultivars revitalised viticulture at the Cape. A nobleman and refugee from the Hungarian uprising, Pongrácz had a gift of the "third" eye - a genius for seeing the new in the familiar, finding the unexpected in the traditional. He was witty and brilliant, speaking his native Hungarian as well as German, French, Russian, English and Afrikaans. Pongrácz was a man of many interests. His theories on vines and wines - and subjects as diverse as music, history and mankind - were both fresh and provocative. He was stirred by the symphonies of Beethoven and impressed by the loyal intelligence of his dachshunds.

The noble sparkle dedicated to this scholar and wine lover is composed entirely of two noble varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, dictated by the classic French method.

in the vineyard : Pongrácz is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which are selected from different vineyards for their overall quality and suitability. The Pinot Noir vines, which at time of harvest were 15 years old, are grafted onto Richter 99 rootstock and grown at an altitude of 320m above sea level. Each hectare contains 3333 trellised vines planted in deep red soil.

The trellised Chardonnay vines are also grown in deep red soil, but are planted 100m to 150m above sea level and grafted onto Richter 110 rootstock. At time of the 1995 harvest their age ranged between 10 and 14 years.

The growing period as well as ripening period were predominantly cool with average night temperatures. Day temperatures were kept low by constant south-westerly winds. Dry conditions also prevailed, with only 77mm of rain during the period October to March, compared to 170mm on long-term average. There was no supplementary irrigation. The average day temperature (Jan – Mar) was 29°C, while average night temperature (Jan – Mar) was 15,2°C.

about the harvest: Pongrácz is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Chardonnay imparts a clean flintiness while Pinot Noir gives body and taste. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes were harvested by hand in the last week of January. In both instances, the grapes were harvested at 19° Balling.

in the cellar : After pressing, the clear grape juice received no further skin contact. After settling the clear juice was pumped into steel tanks for cold fermentation. After the first fermentation process and malolactic fermentation the wine was prepared for secondary fermentation in the bottle. Once this process was completed, the wine was left on the lees for two years and then cleansed of sediment in a two-stage process beginning with "remuage" – gradually turning and tilting the bottle downwards in racks called "pupîtres". The bottles were turned every day until the sediment had collected in the necks against the caps. Finally, the necks of the bottles were frozen and the solidified sediment removed – a process called "dégorgement". After being topped up, the bottles were corked and laid down in the cool cellars for a further 2 months' maturation.

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