Pinotage red wine with coffee, berry and chocolate flavours in Hartebeespoort Dam

In this Blog:

  • Hartebeespoort Dam Hiking trails
  • Pinotage Red Wine
  • Specials in Hartebeespoort Dam


Hiking in Hartebeespoort Dam

In winter, a mountain hike in the winter sun is a perfect activity to experience the outdoors. Hike into the mountains and warm up before you enjoy the fireplace and a glass or a bottle of your favourite Pinotage red wine.

About Hennops Hiking Trail
Duration: 2 days 
Fitness: moderate 
Our tip:  Carry enough water as the river water is not for drinking

The two scenic day trails in the heart of the Magaliesburg are a favourite amongst hikers, close to Gauteng and Hartebeespoort Dam. On the trails, you will see wildlife, cross a suspension bridge and do a cable river crossing. There is a short and long trail to hike.

Uitkyk Hiking Trail, Hartbeespoort Dam, Magaliesberg
Strictly by pre-booking only. Contact
Uitkyk Hiking Trails are within the border of the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment above Schoemansville. The views over the Hartbeespoort Dam, surrounding mountains, rock pools, and natural woodlands are spectacular. The hike also crosses the Rissik Estates with its citrus orchards and is home to black eagles and Cape gryphon vultures. 

The circular day trail is moderate to difficult, well marked and starts from the secure car park. However, if you suffer from a fear of heights, the hiking trail might not be for you.

Trail Facts:

  • On Saturdays, hikers may come across members of the Apostolic Church who spent the night praying and fasting on the mountain or members of the ZCC Church who collect the holy water to perform purifying rituals.
  • The minimum group size requested is 20 people. Please do not hike alone or in small groups for your safety. 
  • There is an easy route for the less fit and a scenic route for those seeking a challenge.
  • Facilities: fenced car park with toilets, showers and braais, but bring your own charcoal/wood.
  • Do not walk across the R513. Use the tunnel.


  • In the vicinity of the Hartbeespoort Dam
  • 30 km West of Pretoria
  • 40 km North of Johannesburg


  • ± 9 km


  • 4½ – 5½ hours.

Difficulty Rating:

  • Moderate to challenging with a few optional extreme sections.


  • Fenced and locked car park with flushing toilets, water and braai areas, bring your firewood to braai.

Relevant information:

  • Always pre-book – minimum number of 20 hikers per booking.
  • It is a dry hike, so carry at least 2 litres of water.
  • Do not walk over the R513. Use the tunnel.
  • Always walk in a group of at least 20 people.


  • R85.00 per person day visitors, minimum of 20 hikers per group
  • R55.00 for kids
  • R55.00 admin fee once off per reservation

Your hike directions, trail map and gate code for the car park will be on your permit issued when you confirm your booking. Be considerate to your fellow hikers and adhere to requests from trail owners for your safety. The rules are in place for you to experience safety and the solitude and serenity of the mountains. 

To book your hike, contact:
Telephone Number: 081 894 9802 / 0827765540

Mr C Wine Chat

This week on a cold winter week in South Africa, we look at Pinotage, the unique red wine varietal on the wine list at Mr C Harties.


Pinotage is a red wine grape that is unique to South Africa. The grapes produce deep red wines with smoky and earthy flavours. Sometimes with notes of bananas, berries and chocolate. Pinotage is dense red in colour and bold in flavour, leaving plum, tobacco, blackberry and liquorice on your palate.

The History of Pinotage Red wine

Pinotage grapes were first created in 1925 by a South African scientist named Abraham Izak Perold, Stellenbosch University's first viticulture professor. Perold produced an offspring of the Pinot Noir and the Cinsault grape known as a hermitage, which resulted in Pinotage'sPinotage's name.

The plants, grown from four seeds in his garden, were saved from extinction by Dr Charles Niehaus, a young lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. Perold joined the KWV co-operative in 1927 and left the plants to grow wild in his home garden.

Perold was attempting to combine the best qualities of Hermitage with the challenging Pinot noir grape. Perold planted the seeds from his cross in the garden at his home at Welgevallen Experimental Farm and then forgot about them. The university sent in a team to tidy up Perolds garden, as Charlie Niehaus happened to pass by and rescue the plants from the clean-up team.

Charlie Niehaus moved the young plants to Elsenburg Agricultural College under Perold'sPerold's successor, CJ Theron. In 1935 Theron planted them onto a newly established vineyard area at Welgevallen. Meanwhile, Perold continued to visit his former colleagues. Theron showed him the freshly planted vines, and the one that was doing best was selected for reproduction and named Pinotage. The first Pinotage wine originated in 1941 at Elsenburg and followed by the first commercial plantings at Myrtle Grove near Sir Lowry'sLowry's Pass. 

Also, in 1941, Pinotage vines were planted at the Kanonkop Estate by Paul Sauer and Danie Rossouw.
The first recognition came when a Bellevue wine made from Pinotage became the champion wine at the Cape Wine Show of 1959. In 1961, Sauer & Rossouw made a champion Pinotage from Kanonkop Wine Estate. The early success of Pinotage led to a wave of planting during the 1960s.


Pinotage Renaissance

Pinotage remained relatively unknown internationally. In 1987, Beyers Truter from Kanonkop won the Diner'sDiner's Club Wine of the year for his Pinotage. Pinotage has since become a famous wine in South Africa. Winemakers are currently experimenting with lighter-styled Pinotage wines with less oak and more fresh fruit flavours. Pinotage wines are becoming more popular, and the demand is growing. The growth of Pinotage is increasing as younger buyers are becoming defenders of Pinotage wines worldwide.

Awards like the 2017 Tim Atkin's South African Red Wine of the Year awarded to winemaker Abrie Beeslaar Pinotage confirms the rise of quality Pinotage wines. Abrie Beeslaar is the second Kanonkop winemaker after Beyers Truter to receive the winemaking status.

Pinotage winemaking in South Africa

Pinotage grows in vines or as bush vines. The vines are robust like their parent Cinsaut and easy to grow. Pinotage grapes ripen early with high sugar levels. The older Pinotage vineyards are bush vines, and these vines produce concentrated fruit and wines with depth. However, older vines produce lower yields due to water stress and bunch thinning. 

Volatile acidity can cause Pinotage to have raspberry vinegar tastes. Therefore, winemakers use a cool fermentation process to minimize the volatility of the wine.

The grape is naturally high in tannins with rich mulberry and blackberry fruit flavours. Winemakers experiment with over-ripening the grape before harvesting and minimizing oak barrel ageing to create newer styled Pinotage wines.

South African winemakers also experiment with picking Pinotage grapes earlier for lower sugar and use whole bunches in fermentation to increase the acidity. It is a winemaking style similar to making Pinot Noir.

Pinotage Red wine in South Africa

What makes Pinotage unique?

Pinotage is a dry, full-bodied, high-tannin red wine. Low-quality Pinotage can be acidic and unbalanced. High-quality Pinotage expresses floral and earthy tones with dark juicy black plum, cherry, and raspberry flavours.

The ideal Pinotage drinking condition

  •  Serve your Pinotage between fifteen and twenty degrees celsius. 
  •  Choose a big red wine glass for your Pinotage red wine
  •  Decant Pinotage an hour before you serve your wine
  •  Cellar your Pinotage for ten years or more, depending on the producer and the style of the wine.


Variety Pinotage in South Africa

Winemakers make a fortified ''Port wine'' style and even sparkling red wine from Pinotage grapes. However, the latest and fastest-growing trend is the production of coffee styled Pinotage. The grape is very dependent on the skill and style of winemaking.

What wine is similar to Pinotage?

The name Pinotage is a little bit misleading because it sounds so much like Pinot Noir. Pinotage and Pinot Noir does not taste similar at all. Pinotage is a full-bodied fruity and juicy red wine and taste more like Shiraz even though Pinotage is related to Pinot Noir. However, Pinotage and Pinot Noir don't taste similar at all.

Pinotage Rose Wine, Is Pinotage Rosé sweet?

Rose made from Pinotage is a medium-bodied Rosé layered with sweet red berries. Hints of butter and cream add complexity to a Pinotage Rosé, finishing off with red cherries and sweet strawberries aftertaste. Pinotage rose, depending on the winemaker's style, can be a rose wine with sweet notes.

Is Pinotage rose a dry wine?

A pinotage dryer rose is a clean and crisp wine, dry but fresh with good acidity. Rose made from Pinotage grapes can be a medium-bodied Rosé layered with sweet red berries. A fun and elegant wine with fresh berry and floral undertones with a perfect balance between sweet and dry notes on your palate.

Coffee Pinotage in South Africa

What is coffee Pinotage?

Coffee Pinotage is a controversial style of South African wine. However, winemaker Bertus Fourie, nicknamed Starbucks Fourie, the winemaker at Dimersfontein Estate, successfully created a coffee Pinotage. The robust red wine consists of coffee and chocolate characteristics achieved during the winemaking and ageing process. 

Winemakers are not allowed to add any flavouring to wine. Instead, a winemaker will use ripe Pinotage grapes and toasted staves to enhance the present coffee hints in the grapes. A stave is a piece of wood, part of a wine barrel. The wood ageing process produces distinctive coffee smells and aromas.

A winemaker uses a specific selection of grapes, ferments the grapes to extract the maximum flavours and chooses the correct type of oak barrel for ageing.
The result is delicious, with a robust red wine full of coffee notes that doesn't overpower the complex fruit and spice flavours. Coffee Pinotage is a consumer favourite in South Africa.

White Pinotage and Pinotage bubbly

New Pinotage styles are developing in South Africa. For example, Mellasat Vineyards, near Paarl, created the worlds first white Pinotage, while KWV'sKWV's Café Culture made a coffee pinotage bubbly wine.

Food Pairing

Pinotage expresses bold fruitiness with smoky flavours, which make it a perfect food pairing wine. You can pair Pinotage with roasted meats and vegetables served with plum and barbecue sauces.

Grilled or slow-cooked dishes, beef, and lamb all do a great job of bringing out Pinotage'sPinotage's sweet and smokey flavours. Game meat like venison and beef dishes like oxtail will pair well with the savoury notes of Pinotage.

Similar to all red wines, pair your Pinotage with the ingredients you have on your plate. It is a fuller wine that will complement rich meaty dishes with smokey sauces.

Dishes like smoked duck and pulled pork pair well with Pinotage. Vegetable dishes like peppers and aubergines and baked pasta dishes like lasagne are good Pinotage pairings. Pinotage can handle spice. If you enjoy a hot curry, pour a glass of juicy Pinotage to enjoy with the spicy dish.

 You can enjoy a lighter style Pinotage with charcuterie, country patés and gouda cheese. The more robust styled Pinotage pairs perfect with wintry stews and South African potjiekos. 

Pinotage pairs best with intensely flavoured cheeses. Once you have decanted your red wine, pair your wine with aged cheddar, pungent camembert or smoked cheeses. Avoid light cheese like mozzarella, feta and blue cheese because Pinotage will overwhelm the cheese flavours.

Pinotage loves a bit of chilly and smoke. However, it is winter, and there is nothing better than a fire for mood and a braai. A classic South African braai is the ideal setting to enjoy your Pinotage and pair with fire-cooked meat marinated with a smokey barbecue sauce. Cajun-spiced blackened fish is also a mouth-watering pairing.

The star dish with a full-bodied Pinotage is a dish with a spicy barbecue sauce.


Specials in Hartebeespoort Dam at Mr C Harties

Mister C Long Stay Saving Winter Special

SAVE UP TO R4725.00

2 Nights
- 15% Discount

3 Nights
- 20% Discount
- One Winter Warmer Dinner p.p

4 Nights
- 25% Discount
- One Winter Warmer Dinner p.p
One Welcome Drink p.p

5+ Nights
- 30% Discount
- One Winter Warmer Dinner p.p
- One Welcome Drink p.p
- One bottle Champagne.

Valid until 31st July 2021. This offer excludes the website packages.

Contact the team at Mr C Harties to find out more about the wine cellar tasting experience.

Contact us
Tel: +27 65 843 5238

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