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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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  • Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2014 Front Label
    Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage 2014
    Pinotage from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • JD90
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  • Tormentoso Pinotage 2014 Front Label
    Tormentoso Pinotage 2014
    Pinotage from South Africa
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    • Kanonkop Pinotage 2014 Front Label
      Kanonkop Pinotage 2014
      Pinotage from South Africa
      • JS92
      • WS91
      • RP90
      4.4 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    • Spice Route Pinotage 2014 Front Label
      Spice Route Pinotage 2014
      Pinotage from South Africa
      • RP92
      4.6 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      24 99
      24 99
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    • Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2014 Front Label
      Riebeek Cellars Pinotage 2014
      Pinotage from South Africa
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        13 99
        13 99
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      • MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2014 Front Label
        MAN Family Wines Pinotage 2014
        Pinotage from South Africa
          4.0 9 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $9.99
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        • Beaumont Pinotage 2014 Front Label
          Beaumont Pinotage 2014
          Pinotage from South Africa
          • RP90
          4.3 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $31.99
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          31 99
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        • Rooiberg Winery Game Reserve Pinotage 2014 Front Label
          Rooiberg Winery Game Reserve Pinotage 2014
          Pinotage from South Africa
            3.7 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            15 99
            15 99
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          • Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2014 Front Label
            Painted Wolf The Den Pinotage 2014
            Pinotage from South Africa
              4.1 7 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              14 99
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            • Warwick Estate Pinotage 2014 Front Label
              Warwick Estate Pinotage 2014
              Pinotage from South Africa
                4.4 14 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                21 99
                21 99
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              • Fairview Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                Fairview Pinotage 2014
                Pinotage from South Africa
                  4.3 6 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                  18
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                • Boschendal Sommelier Selection Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                  Boschendal Sommelier Selection Pinotage 2014
                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                    15 99
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                  • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                    Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2014
                    Pinotage from South Africa
                      3.0 7 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                      12 99
                      12 99
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                    • Riebeek Cellars Kasteelberg Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                      Riebeek Cellars Kasteelberg Pinotage 2014
                      Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
                      • W&S91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                      24 99
                      24 99
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                    • Southern Right Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                      Southern Right Pinotage 2014
                      Pinotage from South Africa
                      • RP91
                      • WS90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                      22 99
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                    • Neil Ellis Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                      Neil Ellis Pinotage 2014
                      Pinotage from South Africa
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                        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                        17 99
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                      • Two Oceans Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                        Two Oceans Pinotage 2014
                        Pinotage from South Africa
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                        • Middelvlei Wines Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                          Middelvlei Wines Pinotage 2014
                          Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                          • Eikendal Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                            Eikendal Pinotage 2014
                            Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                            • Bolland Cellar Cappupino Ccinotage Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                              Bolland Cellar Cappupino Ccinotage Pinotage 2014
                              Pinotage from Paarl, South Africa
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                              • David Frost Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                                David Frost Pinotage 2014
                                Pinotage from Swartland, South Africa
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                                • Eagle's Cliff Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                                  Eagle's Cliff Pinotage 2014
                                  Pinotage from South Africa
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                                  • Welmoed Wines Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                                    Welmoed Wines Pinotage 2014
                                    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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                                    • Bellingham The Bernard Series Bush Vines Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                                      Bellingham The Bernard Series Bush Vines Pinotage 2014
                                      Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
                                      • JS92
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                                    • Raka Pinotage 2014 Front Label
                                      Raka Pinotage 2014
                                      Pinotage from Walker Bay, South Africa
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