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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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  • Southern Right Pinotage 2007 Front Label
    Southern Right Pinotage 2007
    Pinotage from South Africa
    • WS90
    3.1 7 Ratings
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  • MAN Vintners Pinotage 2007 Front Label
    MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2007
    Pinotage from South Africa
    • WE88
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  • Fairview Pinotage 2007 Front Label
    Fairview Pinotage 2007
    Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Spice Route Pinotage 2007 Front Label
      Spice Route Pinotage 2007
      Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Kanonkop Pinotage 2007 Front Label
      Kanonkop Pinotage 2007
      Pinotage from South Africa
      • WE90
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    • Morgenhof Wine Estate Fantail Pinotage 2007 Front Label
      Morgenhof Wine Estate Fantail Pinotage 2007
      Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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      • DeWaal Wines Top of the Hill Pinotage 2007 Front Label
        DeWaal Wines Top of the Hill Pinotage 2007
        Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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        • Major's Hill Wine Estate Pinotage 2007 Front Label
          Major's Hill Wine Estate Pinotage 2007
          Pinotage from Robertson, South Africa
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          • Camberley Pinotage 2007 Front Label
            Camberley Pinotage 2007
            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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            • Domaine Brahms Pinotage 2007 Front Label
              Domaine Brahms Pinotage 2007
              Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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              • Nederburg Winemaster's Reserve Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                Nederburg Winemaster's Reserve Pinotage 2007
                Pinotage from South Africa
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                • Jacobsdal Wine Estate Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                  Jacobsdal Wine Estate Pinotage 2007
                  Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                  • Hamilton Russell Southern Right Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                    Hamilton Russell Southern Right Pinotage 2007
                    Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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                    • Slanghoek Wine Cellar Private Selection Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                      Slanghoek Wine Cellar Private Selection Pinotage 2007
                      Pinotage from South Africa
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                      • Bergsig Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                        Bergsig Pinotage 2007
                        Pinotage from South Africa
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                        • Mooiplaas Wine Estate Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                          Mooiplaas Wine Estate Pinotage 2007
                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                          • Anura Vineyards Frog Hill Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                            Anura Vineyards Frog Hill Pinotage 2007
                            Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                            • Spier Vintage Selection Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                              Spier Vintage Selection Pinotage 2007
                              Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                              • Kaapzicht Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                Kaapzicht Pinotage 2007
                                Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                • Rijk's Private Cellar Reserve Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                  Rijk's Private Cellar Reserve Pinotage 2007
                                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                                  • Doolhof Wine Estate Signature Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                    Doolhof Wine Estate Signature Pinotage 2007
                                    Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                                    • Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                      Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2007
                                      Pinotage from South Africa
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                                      • Bon Cap Organic Wine & Guestfarm The Ruins Organic Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                        Bon Cap Organic Wine & Guestfarm The Ruins Organic Pinotage 2007
                                        Pinotage from Robertson, South Africa
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                                        • Hamilton Russell Ashbourne Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                          Hamilton Russell Ashbourne Pinotage 2007
                                          Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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                                          • Springfontein Wine Estate Terroir Selection Pinotage 2007 Front Label
                                            Springfontein Wine Estate Terroir Selection Pinotage 2007
                                            Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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