Desiderius Pongrácz was a count from the Hungarian nobility. After graduating from the Hungarian Academy of Agriculture in 1944, Desiderius Pongrácz did not return to the family estate, but joined the cavalry of the Hungarian army.
Shortly after Hungary's surrender, he was captured by the advancing Russians. When the war was finally over, Desiderius Pongrácz was released back to Hungary. During the Hungarian uprising, he decided to flee and set his sights on Africa, having landed a job as a farm manager in Namibia through his European aristocratic connections. In 1958 he moved to the Stellenbosch wine region where he worked as a farm manager. During his more than 20 years in viticulture in the Cape, Pongrácz contributed significantly to the success of the South African wine industry through his intellect and vision.
He had a major impact on the introduction and propagation of premium grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. He understood the importance of these grape varieties for the future of the South African wine industry like no other.
Today, the Pongrácz winery is known worldwide as one of the leading Méthode-Cap-Classic producers in South Africa.
Winemaker: Andiswa Mapheleba
Andiswa Mapheleba grew up in East London South Africa and studied viticulture and enology at the University of Stellenbosch.
Her first job was an internship at Stellenzicht Vineyards. She then moved to Nederburg W ines in late 2018 as an assistant in barrel ageing and production before joining the team at Pongrácz.
She thus follows in the footsteps of former winemaker Elunda Basson. "I learned a lot during the time I worked with Elunda. She taught me the basics of MCC-making. Elunda Basson's skills and knowledge are impeccable. In my daily winemaking processes, I always strive for quality by working with precision and passion - the ideals I learned from her."
Her Pongrácz MCC Brut is now known worldwide as a premium méthode cap classic from South Africa.