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Press Release

The Bold, Creative Voice of Sir Abner

Viewing himself as the creative synthesizer who weaves ideas, design, fashion, aesthetics and street culture into a single vision, Seboni Abner Makgamatha better known as “Sir Abner” is crafting a bold future in the South African Fashion Industry.

Sir Abner (30), from Marshalltown in Johannesburg, is the Artistic Director, textile print and graphic designer for David Tlale Couture and the creator and founder of content driven platform “Kimon Sam” alongside his life partner and photographer Katlego Idah Mamabolo. He also recently registered a new creative agency, Application Form Trait-Marked, which aims to push “applied art” traits into new concepts.

He daily conveys stories, emotions and aesthetics through his designs and says his love for fashion certainly comes from his family of elaborate characters. From exceptional seamstresses such as his mother and aunt, to his father’s love for 70’s Italian and Black American fashion, jazz music and African literature, his late grandfather’s tribal traditions that commanded a particular etiquette, and especially his grandmother.

“My grandmother is my creative muse! She is rooted in her tradition and her accessories all have meaning relating to her Nguni culture. From the bangles she wears to her uniform fashion sense tells a story. And that’s when I realised, I needed a form that could give universal meaning to all these loaded messages. For me, textile prints are the medium. They allow us to communicate with each other through design. I see myself as being part of the evolution between the older generation who want to preserve and a new generation who has respect for tradition but want to make it more relevant and use it differently in order to preserve it.”

He says that through the power of “collective collaboration” his career has evolved and it’s the most recent project together with Pongrácz designing the Bold Print of the Year to be unveiled early 2020, that Sir Abner is set to showcase the future of design in South Africa.

“My entire career to date is paved by collaboration. Whether it’s joining forces with other creatives or my many diverse positions in the industry, I keep on pushing the boundaries at each turn. The Bold Print of the Year campaign is incredibly exciting – I’ll be designing three prints which I think represent our South African creative, fashion and consumer spirit as well as Pongrácz’s Be Bold philosophy.”

Based on a voting and judging process, the final print will be revealed and I simply can’t wait to see how other creatives will be applying the print to various designs!”
Sir Abner studied graphic design and multi-media and soon branched his interest out into fashion and textile design. “I enjoy working with people who do the exact opposite from what I do. It’s there where I learn and where our ideas as creatives can stand out.”

He started his career in retail as a visual merchandiser and freelance graphic designer. Always interested in fashion he explored a world where visual art meets fashion and how this creativity extends to graphic design, typography, interior and textile design, and even fashion and style. He approached David Tlale with a proposal to revolutionise South African fashion and in that bold move, found his first real break.

“In my role as a creative you need to be able to detect key trends from all the different facets of society – be it music, technology, popular culture, art or the complex fashion of simple human behaviour – and turn them into visual expressions. For me sustainability in fashion is not limited to how something impacts the environment but rather how it impacts society.”

To follow the creative musings of Sir Abner whilst he designs the Pongrácz Bold Print of the Year, and to select your favourite visithttps://pongracz.co.za/sir-abner/

ABOUT EACH PRINT

Djembe

In this print, the juxtaposition of African culture meets modern design in typography. Inspired by showcasing the craftmanship that goes into making Pongrácz, this design captures the journey of creating, rather than the end product.

One of the things that intrigued Sir Abner was the idea of infinite possibilities and all of the work and thought, trial and error and organic processes that happen while trying to get to any required simplicity. While a circle is ‘perfect’, for Sir Abner, it’s what happens around that circle to make it perfect that is interesting and is full of endless manifestations. In the Djembe print, the repeated outline around the font creates an infinite pattern which in turn creates a design filled with intricate possibilities.

Sir Abner likens this idea of infinite possibilities to the African Djembe drum which comes in many different forms and is used for various ceremonies and celebrations in African culture. The sound of the drum is the same every time but it’s the energy and way in which it is played that is mesmerising. And while the object itself is simple, there are boundless possibilities of what can be created.

Just like a stone thrown into a river causes an endless ripple effect with infinite possibilities, so too do the seven years of secondary fermentation inside the bottle. These years of fermentation are what form the delicate bubbles of Pongrácz, creating a spellbinding synergy of creativity, craft and elegance.

Populist

Inspired by the man Desiderius Pongrácz who smuggled vines into South Africa whilst fleeing uprisings in Hungary, this design evokes the influence of a movement of artistic, renaissance men who had an interest in craft, literature, music and changing the status quo. Through their visionary ideas they challenged, encouraged and dared to be different.

Desiderius Pongrácz, a nobleman, revolutionised viticulture in the Cape. He was amongst others, instrumental in introducing the classic Champagne varietals Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to the Cape Winelands and today the range pays tribute to his bold tenacity, innovation and unwavering spirit.

Inspired by mail art, also known as postal art and correspondence art which is a populist artistic movement centered around sending small scale works through the postal service, Sir Abner created a code through design – EOIC 3ULD – which when folded upwards translates to BOLD, reflecting the pioneering spirit of Desiderius Pongrácz.

Sir Abner transformed the military camouflage print which symbolises comradery and bravery, into black and white, and infused the design with the truly South African Shangaan Bag. The plastic-woven bags have become synonymous with migrants coming to Johannesburg filled with zeal, hope, courage and optimism.

Nostalgia

Art and design can evoke many wistful and sentimental yearnings for the past. The evolution of design over centuries brings forth innovation, excitement and daring in creating that which at the time would seem impossible.

For Sir Abner, pop art, vintage stamps and lenticular super-hero sippy cups awaken a nostalgic memory of his curiosity as a child. Design from a time gone by brings forth the emotion and sentimentality that encourages a sense of meaning and creativity for future experiences.

In celebrating legendary iconography, Sir Abner incorporates one of the rare photographs of Desiderius Pongrácz. Inspired by the man, fondly known as Pongy, and his triumphant zeal, passion to create and vision that was bigger than him at the time, Sir Abner visually portrays Pongrácz’s iconic legacy – a legacy that to this day has a profound impact on viticulture and winemaking in South Africa.

Desiderius Pongrácz crowned Best Brut in SA!

September 2019

 Desiderius Pongrácz vintage 2011 has been awarded the highest accolade with a double gold and as the Best Brut overall at the 2019 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.

South Africa’s benchmark competition for premium MCC’s, the Amorim competition drew 134 entries and recognises outstanding naturally-fermented sparkling wines, known as Méthode Cap Classique in South Africa.

In the same week, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc received the highest score of 97 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, doubling the celebration for Pongrácz ambassador and protégé winemaker Andiswa Mapheleba.

“I have only recently joined Pongrácz and I am so honoured to be part of the team crafting such noble Méthod Cap Classiques. These two awards create awareness amongst consumers to appreciate the value of locally produced wines and their exceptional quality which is on par with the finest Champagnes.”

Spending minimum 60 months in the bottle for a slow secondary fermentation, the ultra-premium Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is gracious, elegant and timeless. The MCC, made in the time-honoured French tradition, is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. Beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste fills the mouth with a rich and complex combination of fresh fruit, almonds and buttery bread.

The 100% Chardonnay Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc – which was also singled out as the best on show at the 2018 Veritas Wine Awards with the Vertex Award – has a beautiful finesse, crisp acidity and racy minerality.

A slow secondary fermentation in the bottle delivers the delicate mousse, with fine bubbles that linger over a beautifully crisp acidity. During this 36-month maturation the dead yeast cells accumulates at the bottom of the bottle and contribute to the distinctive brioche, creamy richness associated with an outstanding Méthode Cap Classique. As with the Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, the dead yeast cells (the lees) is then removed by the traditional methods of remuage and degorgement whereby the neck of the bottle is frozen in dry ice and the cells removed whilst still maintain the beautiful bubbles inside.

Lively with bright zesty citrus aromas, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is intensely fruity. The refreshing palate reveals an alluring creaminess, fresh lemon zest and toasty yeast, ending with a vibrant mineral-driven finish.

Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

The Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is available from fine wine merchants and www.vinoteque.co.za, retailing for R500 whilst the Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc is only available from the Vinoteque for R190 a bottle.

Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs Awarded overall champion at Veritas 2018

October 2018

In a show-stopping moment for the locally produced Méthod Cap Classique, Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs was crowned as the overall champion wine receiving the Vertex Award at the 2018 Veritas Wine Awards held over the weekend.

With a record number of 1 677 entries in total and 50 double gold medals awarded, winemaker Elunda Basson says it’s such an honour for the wine to be singled out as the best on show.

“The years of working towards creating the ultimate MCC paid-off and this recognition is truly the pinnacle of my career. I’m literally on cloud nine! As one of SA’s leading MCC producers we strive for unparallel quality and continuously add innovation to our range. Consumers are now more than ever aware of the exceptional MCC’s that SA can produce and their interest drives us to exceed their expectation each time.”

The Veritas Vertex award for the top wine of the competition takes its name from the Latin vertex, which means ‘highest point’ and a handmade glass trophy, specially designed for the Vertex award winning wine, was presented on the night to Elunda. In addition the flagship Desiderius Pongrácz which spends 60 months in the bottle for secondary fermentation, took double gold.

Blanc de Blancs (meaning “white of whites”) is arguably the most elegant style for Champagne and Méthode Cap Classique. With its beautiful finesse, crisp acidity and racy minerality it’s a joy to sip and very well suited to pairing with food.

The 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs complements  Pongrácz’ range made in the traditional French method of allowing secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle.

Lively with bright zesty citrus aromas, the Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is intensely fruity. The refreshing palate reveals an alluring creaminess, fresh lemon zest and toasty yeast, ending with a vibrant mineral-driven finish.

The grapes were hand-selected from vineyards cooled by maritime breezes and selected for their overall quality and suitability.

Once the base wine was cold fermented and underwent malolactic fermentation, it was racked to clean stainless steel tanks and matured on the fine lees for four months. A small portion of the blend was barrel fermented to enhance the richness and flavour complexity of the final blend.

A slow secondary fermentation in the bottle delivers the delicate mousse, with fine bubbles that linger over a beautifully crisp acidity. During this 36 months maturation the dead yeast cells accumulates at the bottom of the bottle and contribute to the distinctive brioche, creamy richness associated with an outstanding Méthode Cap Classique. The dead yeast cells (the lees) is then removed by the traditional methods of remuage and degorgement whereby the neck of the bottle is frozen in dry ice and the cells removed whilst still maintain the beautiful bubbles inside.

Pongrácz is inspired by a nobleman and refugee from the Hungarian uprising, Desiderius Pongrácz, whose vision revitalised viticulture in the Cape. He quite literally wrote the book on viticulture and was the author of a number of books and produced numerous scientific publications.

He was a genius for seeing the new in the familiar, finding the unexpected in the traditional and his theories were fresh and provocative – not only on vines and wine, but also music, history and mankind.  Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Today the range of Pongrácz Méthode Cap Classiques pays tribute to the innovation, sheer genius and life’s work of Desiderius Pongrácz.

Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs is available from www.vinoteque.co.za

Double the applause for Desiderius Pongrácz at Michelangelo

October 2018

Desiderius Pongrácz vintage 2011 has been awarded with a double gold at the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine Competition, now in its 22nd year.

A delighted Desiderius Pongrácz winemaker Elunda Basson says that this prestigious accolade is the third received in the past two weeks.

“The awards just keep coming in for our flagship Méthode Cap Classique with each medal echoing our continuous commitment in producing world-class quality products. This particular MCC spends a minimum of 60 months in the bottle for a slow secondary fermentation. It’s years of nurturing and I feel so privileged to be making this exquisite MCC.”

Made in the time-honoured French tradition of secondary fermentation in the bottle to produce the lively yet gentle bubbles, the Desiderius Pongrácz 2011, is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. Beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste fills the mouth with a rich and complex combination of fresh fruit, almonds and buttery bread.

Desiderius Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Desiderius triumphs with two awards this week

September 2018

In the definitive guide to the South African Wine Industry released by Tim Atkin, the well-known British wine writer and Master of Wine, Desiderius Pongrácz 2009 received a score of 92. In addition at the 2017 Amorim Cap Classique awards the elegant 2003 vintage of this Méthode Cap Classique received a gold medal in the Museum Class category.

In his sixth report on the industry, Tim tasted more than 1600 and he rates those wines scoring between 90 and 94 to be outstanding and with superior character and style on his 100-point scale.

In his notes, Tim recommends that the Desiderius Pongrácz 2009 be enjoyed now or cellar well up to 2021. He comments that this MCC is “always among the top bubblies”. He says further “Marrying Chardonnay with 40% Pinot Noir, it spends 72 months on lees and is still very fresh for an eight-year-old wine with spicy, dry, very tangy flavours and fine bubbles.”

About the South African industry Tim says, “There wasn’t a single category that didn’t impress me this year” and noted that “MCC bubblies were also fantastic this year and are now deserving of serious attention.”

Desiderius Pongrácz 2009 is made in the French time-honoured tradition of bottle fermentation and is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%) grapes hand-picked from two selected vineyard blocks. The wine spent four months maturing on the fine lees before being bottled for a slow secondary fermentation producing the beautiful, elegant bubbles and brioche-like taste.

This graceful MCC is rich and complex with a slight green tint. The combination of fresh fruit, lively bubbles, almonds and rich buttery bread is a delight to the senses.

Desiderius Pongrácz is named after the nobleman and Hungarian refugee, Desiderius Pongrácz, who had a profound impact on viticulture in the Western Cape. Considered a genius for finding the unexpected in the traditional and fresh, unconventional theories, Pongrácz was witty and brilliant and his inspiration extended across the wine industry, classical music, anthropology and Dachshunds.

Not For Persons Under the Age of 18. Drink Responsibly.