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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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  • Fairview Pinotage 2005 Front Label
    Fairview Pinotage 2005
    Pinotage from South Africa
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  • Warwick Estate Pinotage 2005 Front Label
    Warwick Estate Pinotage 2005
    Pinotage from South Africa
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  • Beyerskloof Pinotage 2005 Front Label
    Beyerskloof Pinotage 2005
    Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2005 Front Label
      Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2005
      Pinotage from South Africa
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      • Bellevue Estate Tumara Pinotage 2005 Front Label
        Bellevue Estate Tumara Pinotage 2005
        Pinotage from South Africa
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        • Simonsig Pinotage 2005 Front Label
          Simonsig Pinotage 2005
          Pinotage from South Africa
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        • Onyx Pinotage 2005 Front Label
          Onyx Pinotage 2005
          Pinotage from South Africa
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          • MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2005 Front Label
            MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2005
            Pinotage from South Africa
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            • Kanonkop Pinotage 2005 Front Label
              Kanonkop Pinotage 2005
              Pinotage from South Africa
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            • Kumkani Pinotage 2005 Front Label
              Kumkani Pinotage 2005
              Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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              • Stormhoek Wines Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                Stormhoek Wines Pinotage 2005
                Pinotage from South Africa
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                • Cloof Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                  Cloof Pinotage 2005
                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                  • Mooiplaas Wine Estate Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                    Mooiplaas Wine Estate Pinotage 2005
                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                    • Domaine Brahms Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                      Domaine Brahms Pinotage 2005
                      Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                      • Pulpit Rock Winery Cape Haven Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                        Pulpit Rock Winery Cape Haven Pinotage 2005
                        Pinotage from South Africa
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                        • Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                          Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2005
                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                          • Spier Private Collection Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                            Spier Private Collection Pinotage 2005
                            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                            • L'Avenir Wine Estate Grand Vin Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                              L'Avenir Wine Estate Grand Vin Pinotage 2005
                              Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                              • DeWaal Wines Top of the Hill Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                DeWaal Wines Top of the Hill Pinotage 2005
                                Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                • DeWaal Wines Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                  DeWaal Wines Pinotage 2005
                                  Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                  • Grangehurst Stellenbosch Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                    Grangehurst Stellenbosch Pinotage 2005
                                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                    • Doolhof Wine Estate Signature Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                      Doolhof Wine Estate Signature Pinotage 2005
                                      Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                                      • DeWaal Wines CT de Waal Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                        DeWaal Wines CT de Waal Pinotage 2005
                                        Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                        • Fort Simon Estate Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                          Fort Simon Estate Pinotage 2005
                                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                          • Avondale Pinotage 2005 Front Label
                                            Avondale Pinotage 2005
                                            Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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