Gino’s School of Wine in Hammonton, NJ working with Holt Logistics has imported what they believe are the first shipment of Pinotage Grapes ever imported into the US for the purposes of making wine.
“The Pinotage variety is the next in a long history of exotic grapes that Gino Pinto has brought to the US market,” said Michael Pinto, CEO of Gino Pinto, Inc. “This includes grapes sourced from California, Chile, Italy and Argentina. As far as we know this is the first time the South African wine grapes have been imported for our type of use. After much searching we partnered with Gerrit van den Merwe, Jr., an experienced hand in citrus from South Africa. He managed all of the intense details of the preparation and packing including the obtaining of permissions from USDA and the other required agencies. His experience in export logistics was invaluable. More importantly the entire shipment was “sold out on arrival” showing an appetite (or a thirst) for good products priced affordably.” Gerrit van den Merwe Jr., whose main business is growing, packing and exporting citrus from the Western Cape throughout the world, took on the challenge to source and oversee this new business. “We have been farming for many generations and grapes are a natural product for South Africa for centuries since their introduction. The opportunity to supply our grapes for the increasingly popular wine making industry in the United States had many challenges. Our job was to source excellent quality and then overcome those challenges. We were able to use our robust citrus business and supply chain partners such as Capespan North America and Holt Logistics Corp to ensure smooth delivery to the end user.”
This year’s batch sold out quickly so if you are interested in making your own Pinotage from grapes make sure to join Gino’s mailing list.