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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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  • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2011 Front Label
    Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2011
    Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
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    58
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  • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2012 Front Label
    Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2012
    Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    3.9 5 Ratings
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    58
    41 99
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  • Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2009 Front Label
    Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2009
    Pinotage from South Africa
    • WS87
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    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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  • Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2010 Front Label
    Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2010
    Pinotage from South Africa
    • WE91
    • RP90
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    22 99
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  • MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2005 Front Label
    MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2005
    Pinotage from South Africa
      3.4 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $7.59
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      11 99
      7 59
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    • Spice Route Pinotage 2006 Front Label
      Spice Route Pinotage 2006
      Pinotage from South Africa
      • WS90
      3.8 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2013  Front Label
      Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2013
      Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WW91
      3.7 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      58
      37 99
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    • Fairview Pinotage 2015 Front Label
      Fairview Pinotage 2015
      Pinotage from South Africa
      • TP90
      4.0 22 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      18
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    • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2010 Front Label
      Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2010
      Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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      • Southern Right Pinotage 2009 Front Label
        Southern Right Pinotage 2009
        Pinotage from South Africa
        • WE90
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        Currently Unavailable $22.99
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        27
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      • Nederburg Pinotage Paarl 2012 Front Label
        Nederburg Pinotage Paarl 2012
        Pinotage from South Africa
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        • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2014 Front Label
          Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2014
          Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • JD90
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        • KWV Pinotage 2003
          Pinotage from South Africa
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            9 99
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          • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2005 Front Label
            Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2005
            Pinotage from South Africa
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              10 79
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            • Simonsig Pinotage 2005 Front Label
              Simonsig Pinotage 2005
              Pinotage from South Africa
              • WE88
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              Currently Unavailable $14.19
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              17 99
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            • Southern Right Pinotage 2010 Front Label
              Southern Right Pinotage 2010
              Pinotage from South Africa
              • W&S90
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              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              24 99
              19 99
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            • Southern Right Pinotage 2015 Front Label
              Southern Right Pinotage 2015
              Pinotage from South Africa
              • RP92
              • WE91
              • WS90
              4.4 7 Ratings
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            • Baobab Pinotage 2001 Front Label
              Baobab Pinotage 2001
              Pinotage from South Africa
              • WS88
              • WE88
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            • Southern Right Pinotage 2008 Front Label
              Southern Right Pinotage 2008
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Baobab Pinotage 2004 Front Label
                Baobab Pinotage 2004
                Pinotage from South Africa
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                • MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2015 Front Label
                  MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2015
                  Pinotage from South Africa
                    3.7 11 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                    9 99
                    9 99
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                  • Fairview Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                    Fairview Pinotage 2014
                    Pinotage from South Africa
                      4.3 6 Ratings
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                    • Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2015 Front Label
                      Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2015
                      Pinotage from South Africa
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                      • Southern Right Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                        Southern Right Pinotage 2014
                        Pinotage from South Africa
                        • RP91
                        • WS90
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                      • Fairview Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                        Fairview Pinotage 2007
                        Pinotage from South Africa
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                          15 99
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