Pongrácz is one of South Africa’s leading producers of Méthode Cap Classique (MCC), made by the traditional French method of allowing secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle. The award-winning MCCs pay tribute to the innovation, sheer genius and life’s work of Desiderius Pongrácz who had a profound impact on viticulture at the Cape.
Charismatic and noble
Pongrácz is named after the Hungarian nobleman and refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in South Africa. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and his fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.
Today the range pays tribute to his pursuit of excellence and pushing the boundaries. In 2015, the flagship Desiderius 2008 was ranked Top 10 in the world at the Effervescents du Monde competition in France, bubbling to the top of more than 622 entries from 26 countries. The 2018 Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide bestowed its highest accolade of five stars on the Desiderius 2009 and the same year, at the 2018 Veritas Awards, Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs was crowned with the Veritas Vertex Award as the overall champion from 1 677 entries.
The Pongrácz Brut and Rosé, both dry, and the Noble Nectar Demi-Sec, are made from the classic Champagne varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The grapes are handpicked from vineyards cooled by maritime breezes and selected for their overall quality and suitability. The Pinot Noir vines grow in deep red soil at an altitude of 320m above sea level, whilst the Chardonnay comes from vineyards at 100m to 200m above sea level. The wine is left on the lees for two years for secondary fermentation in the bottle before the sediment is removed in the traditional process of remuage and dégorgement. The bottles are then corked and laid down in the cellar for a further two to four months before release.
The vintage Desiderius Pongrácz, launched in 2002, is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, handpicked from selected vineyard blocks in the Robertson, Stellenbosch and Elgin regions. The vines, grown on south-facing slopes, produce wines of exceptional quality. This vintage MCC spends an average of five years on the lees before dégorgement, and two years under cork before being released. The bespoke, elegantly fluted bottle epitomises quality and nobility and encapsulates grace and exceptional character.