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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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  • Hidden Valley Pinotage 1998 Front Label
    Hidden Valley Pinotage 1998
    Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Grangehurst Stellenbosch Pinotage 1998 Front Label
      Grangehurst Stellenbosch Pinotage 1998
      Pinotage from South Africa
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        Pinotage from South Africa
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        • Clos Malverne Pinotage 1998
          Pinotage from South Africa
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          • Zonnebloem Pinotage 1998 Front Label
            Zonnebloem Pinotage 1998
            Pinotage from South Africa
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            • Saxenburg Pinotage Private Collection 1998 Front Label
              Saxenburg Pinotage Private Collection 1998
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Indaba Pinotage 1998 Front Label
                Indaba Pinotage 1998
                Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Baobab Pinotage 1998 Front Label
                Baobab Pinotage 1998
                Pinotage from South Africa
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