C.T. de Waal

C.T. de Waal was the first person ever to make a wine from Pinotage grapes when he made an experimental barrel
of Pinotage in 1941, sixteen years after the variety was created by Prof. Abraham Perold.
In 1864, Adriaan de Waal, who farmed on Langverwacht/Zevenwacht in Kuilsrivier, discovered the metal tin on his
farm. Following this discovery, Adriaan acquired mining rights which increased the value of his farm tremendously.
He decided to sell the farm and having done so, divided the income from the sale between himself and his children.
Many of them bought farms in the Stellenbosch district. One of them, Tielman de Waal, acquired the farm Uiterwyk
on the opposite side of the hill of Langverwacht. Perhaps Tielman’s plan was to mine for tin from that side of the hill,
discover some and sell the farm, making a fortune. Evidence of this plan is that there are mining shafts on the
Uiterwyk side of the hill!

When Tielman’s eldest son, Pieter, joined his father on the farm, Tielman decided that he was still too young to
retire. He divided the farm into two parts, giving the section that today is known as Jordan Wines and De Morgenzon
to Pieter as his inheritance.

CT de Waal, the second oldest son, was very keen on becoming a winemaker. However in those days, you had to be
the owner of a farm with a cellar to be able to work as a winemaker. And since his father wasn’t going to retire soon,
his only option was to study winemaking, become a lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch and then work in the
experimental cellar of that institution. And that is just what he did!
Later when CT’s father decided to retire, CT was offered the farm Uiterwyk as an inheritance. He, however, waived
this offer, since he had a very good job at the university! This decision of CT led to him becoming the first maker of a
Pinotage wine.

Prof. Abraham Perold created Pinotage in 1925 when he crossed Pinot Noir with Hermitage. The first vines were
increased to become a vineyard and only 16 years later there were enough vines to produce enough grapes for an
experimental barrel of Pinotage wine! When this time came about in 1941, Prof. Perold, who was a viticulturalist
and not a winemaker, had to find a winemaker to make the wine. Alongside him, working for the same institution,
was CT de Waal, a winemaker and wine taster of note. It was a simple choice for Prof. Perold to ask CT to make the
wine. And that is how CT de Waal became the first winemaker to vinify Pinotage, making him a pioneer of world
wine history!