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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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  • Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2011 Front Label
    Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2011
    Pinotage from South Africa
    • JS91
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  • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2011 Front Label
    Fleur du Cap 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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    • Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011 Front Label
      Ken Forrester Petit 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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      • Fairview Pinotage 2011 Front Label
        Fairview Pinotage 2011
        Pinotage from South Africa
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          14 28
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        • Major's Hill Wine Estate Pinotage 2011 Front Label
          Major's Hill Wine Estate Pinotage 2011
          Pinotage from Robertson, South Africa
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            15 99
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          • Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011 Front Label
            Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2011
            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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              73 99
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            • Waterkloof False Bay Pinotage 2011 Front Label
              Waterkloof False Bay Pinotage 2011
              Pinotage from South Africa
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              • Graham Beck Robertson Pinno Pinotage 2011  Front Label
                Graham Beck Robertson Pinno Pinotage 2011
                Pinotage from Robertson, South Africa
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                  10 99
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                • Spier Signature Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                  Spier Signature Pinotage 2011
                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                  • Vriesenhof Vineyards Paradyskloof Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                    Vriesenhof Vineyards Paradyskloof Pinotage 2011
                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, 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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                      • Robertson Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                        Robertson Pinotage 2011
                        Pinotage from Robertson, South Africa
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                        • Kanonkop Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                          Kanonkop Pinotage 2011
                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                          • The Grape Grinder The Grinder Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                            The Grape Grinder The Grinder Pinotage 2011
                            Pinotage from South Africa
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                            • Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                              Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2011
                              Pinotage from South Africa
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                              • Springfontein Wine Estate Single Vineyard Jonathan's Ridge Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                Springfontein Wine Estate Single Vineyard Jonathan's Ridge Pinotage 2011
                                Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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                                • Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                  Stellenzicht Golden Triangle Pinotage 2011
                                  Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                  • Landskroon Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                    Landskroon Pinotage 2011
                                    Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                                    • Delheim Wines Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                      Delheim Wines Pinotage 2011
                                      Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                      • Camberley Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                        Camberley Pinotage 2011
                                        Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                        • Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                          Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2011
                                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                          • Ernst Gouws & Co Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                            Ernst Gouws & Co Pinotage 2011
                                            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                            • Escapade Winery Pinotage 2011 Front Label
                                              Escapade Winery Pinotage 2011
                                              Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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