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Pinotage

A distinctively earthy and rustic variety ...

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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.

In the Glass

There is no mistaking the smell of Pinotage—common descriptors include tobacco, smoke, tar, bacon, licorice, hoisin sauce and 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 Pairings

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 Secret

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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  • Nederburg Pinotage Paarl 2000 Front Label
    Nederburg Pinotage Paarl 2000
    Pinotage from South Africa
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      12 99
      12 99
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    • Spice Route Andrew's Hope Pinotage 2000 Front Label
      Spice Route Andrew's Hope Pinotage 2000
      Pinotage from South Africa
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      • Fairview Pinotage 2000 Front Label
        Fairview Pinotage 2000
        Pinotage from South Africa
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        • Graham Beck Old Road Pinotage 2000
          Pinotage from South Africa
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          • Zonnebloem Pinotage 2000
            Pinotage from South Africa
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            • Rawsons Pinotage Breede River Valley 2000
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • KWV Pinotage 2000
                Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Indaba Pinotage 2000
                Pinotage from South Africa
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                • Simonsig Pinotage 2000
                  Pinotage from South Africa
                  • WS89
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                • Graham Beck Pinotage 2000
                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                  • Clos Malverne Pinotage Reserve 2000
                    Pinotage from South Africa
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                    • Kanonkop Pinotage 2000 Front Label
                      Kanonkop Pinotage 2000
                      Pinotage from South Africa
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                      • Cloof Pinotage 2000 Front Label
                        Cloof Pinotage 2000
                        Pinotage from South Africa
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                        • Cheetah Valley Pinotage 2000
                          Pinotage from South Africa
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                          • Spice Route Flagship Pinotage 2000
                            Pinotage from South Africa
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