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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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    Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2011
    Pinotage from South Africa
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      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2011
      Pinotage from South Africa
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      Warwick Estate Pinotage 2011
      Pinotage from South Africa
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      Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011
      Pinotage from South Africa
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        Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2011
        Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        Fairview Pinotage 2011
        Pinotage from South Africa
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          Morgenhof Wine Estate Fantail Pinotage 2011
          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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            Kanonkop Pinotage 2011
            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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              Welmoed Wines Pinotage 2011
              Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                Aaldering Vineyards & Wines Pinotage 2011
                Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                  Rooiberg Winery Reserve Pinotage 2011
                  Pinotage from Robertson, South Africa
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                    Cape Dreams Pinotage 2011
                    Pinotage from South Africa
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                      Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                      Saxenburg Private Collection Pinotage 2011
                      Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                        19 99
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                        Spier Vintage Selection Pinotage 2011
                        Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                          Spier Private Collection Pinotage 2011
                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                            Lanzerac Pinotage 2011
                            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                              Rijk's Private Cellar Touch of Oak Pinotage 2011
                              Pinotage from South Africa
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                                Delheim Wines Pinotage 2011
                                Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                  Cloof Pinotage 2011
                                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                                    Knorhoek Wines Pinotage 2011
                                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                      Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate Carpe Diem Pinotage 2011
                                      Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                                        Escapade Winery Pinotage 2011
                                        Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                          Slanghoek Wine Cellar Private Selection Pinotage 2011
                                          Pinotage from South Africa
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                                            L'Avenir Wine Estate Pinotage by L'Avenir 2011
                                            Pinotage from South Africa
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                                              Middelvlei Wines Pinotage Merlot 2011
                                              Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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