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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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  • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2011 Front Label
    Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2011
    Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2011 Front Label
      Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2011
      Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Warwick Estate Pinotage 2011 Front Label
      Warwick Estate Pinotage 2011
      Pinotage from South Africa
      • WS88
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      26 99
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    • Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011 Front Label
      Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011
      Pinotage from South Africa
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      • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2011 Front Label
        Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2011
        Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • WW91
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        58
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      • Fairview Pinotage 2011 Front Label
        Fairview Pinotage 2011
        Pinotage from South Africa
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        • Knorhoek Wines Pinotage 2011 Front Label
          Knorhoek Wines Pinotage 2011
          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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            Currently Unavailable $6.99
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            6 99
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          • Escapade Winery Pinotage 2011 Front Label
            Escapade Winery Pinotage 2011
            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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            • Rijk's Private Cellar Reserve Pinotage 2011 Front Label
              Rijk's Private Cellar Reserve Pinotage 2011
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Backsberg Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                Backsberg Pinotage 2011
                Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                  13
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                • M'hudi Wines Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                  M'hudi Wines Pinotage 2011
                  Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                    5 99
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                  • Camberley Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                    Camberley Pinotage 2011
                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                    • Allee Bleue Allee Bleue Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                      Allee Bleue Allee Bleue Pinotage 2011
                      Pinotage from South Africa
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                        20 99
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                      • Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                        Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2011
                        Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
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                          Currently Unavailable $10.00
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                          10
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                        • Painted Wolf The Black Pack Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                          Painted Wolf The Black Pack Pinotage 2011
                          Pinotage from South Africa
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                          • Springfontein Wine Estate Terroir Selection Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                            Springfontein Wine Estate Terroir Selection Pinotage 2011
                            Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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                            • Bolland Cellar Cappupino Ccinotage Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                              Bolland Cellar Cappupino Ccinotage Pinotage 2011
                              Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                                Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                              • Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2011
                                Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                • Avondale Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                  Avondale Pinotage 2011
                                  Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                                    20 99
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                                  • The Winery of Good Hope Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                    The Winery of Good Hope Pinotage 2011
                                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                      6 99
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                                    • Wildekrans Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                      Wildekrans Pinotage 2011
                                      Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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                                        12 99
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                                      • Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                        Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage 2011
                                        Pinotage from South Africa
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                                        • Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                          Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011
                                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                          • Waterkloof False Bay Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                            Waterkloof False Bay Pinotage 2011
                                            Pinotage from South Africa
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                                            • Spier Signature Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                              Spier Signature Pinotage 2011
                                              Pinotage from South Africa
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