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Pinotage

Learn about Pinotage — taste profile, popular regions and more …

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A distinctively earthy and rustic variety, Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape. In 1924 viticulturists crossed finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, and created, surprisingly, a variety both darker and bolder than either of its parents. Today Pinotage is a popular South African export both as a single varietal wine and in Cape blends. It is grown very minimally outside of South Africa.

Tasting Notes for Pinotage

Pinotage is a dry, red wine with an unmistakable bouquet. Common descriptors include tobacco, smoke, tar, bacon, licorice, hoisin sauce and the dark fruits of plum and blackberry. The flavors are bold, and tannins are firm but ripe—in fact, many Pinotage wines bear more resemblance to Australian Shiraz than to Pinot Noir.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinotage

For a wine this powerful, food should be equally bold, and gets bonus points for mirroring Pinotage’s sweet and sour flavors. Classic smoky South African braai (barbecue) is the most obvious match, while grilled curry sausage, lamb biryani or richly spiced beef stew would be equally welcome.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinotage

The name “Pinotage” is a subtle portmanteau: The Pinot part is obvious, but the second half is a bit confusing. In the early 1900s, Cinsault was known in South Africa as “Hermitage”—hence Pinotage. The somewhat less appealing “Herminoir” was also considered.

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  • Kanonkop Pinotage 2019  Front Label
    Kanonkop Pinotage 2019
    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
    • JS93
    • V90
    4.6 9 Ratings
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  • Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage 2019  Front Label
    Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage 2019
    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
    • JS93
    • WE91
    3.9 30 Ratings
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  • Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2020  Front Label
    Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2020
    Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
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    • Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2020  Front Label
      Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2020
      Pinotage from South Africa
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      • Barista Pinotage 2020  Front Label
        Barista Pinotage 2020
        Pinotage from South Africa
          4.1 21 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        • The Winery of Good Hope Full Berry Pinotage 2021  Front Label
          The Winery of Good Hope Full Berry Pinotage 2021
          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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          • Braai Pinotage 2020  Front Label
            Braai Pinotage 2020
            Pinotage from South Africa
            • WE89
            0.0 0 Ratings
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          • Radley & Finch The Profs Pinotage 2021  Front Label
            Radley & Finch The Profs Pinotage 2021
            Pinotage from South Africa
              4.7 26 Ratings
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            • MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2020  Front Label
              MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2020
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Beaumont Pinotage 2018  Front Label
                Beaumont Pinotage 2018
                Pinotage from South Africa
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