Pontac, noun

Forms:
Also Pontack, Pontak, and with small initial.
Origin:
FrenchShow more French, a family name of the Médoc region, given to a sweet wine from that region; see quotation 1988.
1. A sweet or dry red wine similar to port, made of the Pontac grape. Also attributive. See also Cape wine.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. I. 151Du Toit gave us an excellent sort of wine, called here Pontac, a sweet deep-red wine, which is sold at the Cape at thirty dollars the hogshead.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 285The more distant farms above mentioned, produce the common wine, denominated Cape Madeira and Pontac.
1832 Graham’s Town Jrnl 4 May 76A small quantity of Pontack and sweet Muscadel, 5 years old, at 1Rd. 4sks. per gallon.
1843 Cape of G.H. Almanac & Annual Register (advt)Old Cape Wines of superior quality consisting of Madeira,..Pontac, equal and in many respects preferable to the Port wine generally imported into this country; sweet wines of very excellent quality and fine flavour, to wit: Pontac, Frontignac, Muscadel, etc.
1856 Cape of G.H. Almanac & Annual Register 68Genuine Constantia Wines consisting of Pontac, Frontignac, White, Red which may be had either in bottle or cask.
1872 C.A. Payton Diamond Diggings 93Cape wines, one of which, Pontac, a wine much resembling new port, is much affected up here, as it is believed to act as an astringent.
1880 E.F. Sandeman Eight Months in Ox-Waggon 14The best known Cape wine is Pontac, resembling in taste and colour a rough-edged, strong port wine.
1911 M.S. Evans Black & White in S.E. Afr. 226One of the white boys had a bottle of Cape wine (pontac) in his possession.
1937 C.R. Prance Tante Rebella’s Saga 213She chattered in spate almost hysterically, and the bottle of Pontac which she produced in default of tea stimulated an artless and amazing tale.
1968 C.J. Orffer in D.J. Opperman Spirit of Vine 100De Mist also indicated that the following wines were sent to the Netherlands in 1792..1 leaguer Pontac price 176 guilders, 6 leaguers brandy price 528 Guilders.
1979 C. Pama Wine Estates of S. Afr. 40The two farms produced the famous red and white Constantia, natural sweet, muscadel wines, blended with Frontignac and Pontac wines.
1986 S. Afr. Panorama June 47Pontac, an almost purple-black colour, is sweet and full-bodied and, if handled well, makes a valuable contribution to the blending of a good port.
2. A red grape imported from France during the 18th century.
1880 S.W. Silver & Co.’s Handbk to S. Afr. 222The only grape at the Cape which produces red juice is the Pontac.
1905 P.D. Hahn in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 415The vines cultivated at the Cape for white wines were known as Steen, Green and Hanepot Grape, for red and dark wines Pontac, Frontignac and Muscadel Grape.
1988 D. Hughes et al. Complete Bk of S. Afr. Wine 108Since the making of this Pontac coincided with the advent of the Hugenot immigration.., it has been speculated that they may have brought cuttings of the vine with them, perhaps naming it after the famous Pontac family, who were important vineyard owners in the Médoc...Pontac has now all but disappeared from the Cape’s vineyards, only 39000 vines existing at present.
1990 Excellence Vol.6 No.2, 5The best-known names are jerepigo, red or white muscadel and hanepoot, made from muscat d’alexandrie, muscat de frontignan, muscat de hambourg, but also from pinotage, pontac, tinta, chenin blanc, palomino.
A sweet or dry red wine similar to port, made of the Pontac grape. Also attributive.
A red grape imported from France during the 18th century.

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18121990