Name of varietal: Cinsault
Common synonyms: Cinsaut, Bourdalase, Navarro, Hermitage, Picardan Noir, Ottavienello, Black Malvoisie
Parentage of the grape: indigenous to Southern France
History of the grape: Cinsau(l)t has been growing in Southern France for centuries. In the Rhone and Languedoc regions its primary function is as a supporting player in blends, especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape, adding spice and aromatics, mellowing out harsh tannins. It is also planted widely in countries with sizeable French influence in their wine-making such as Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. It came to the states in the mid-1800s.
But perhaps its most important role in wine history took place in South Africa, where in 1925 it was crossed with Pinot Noir by Stellenbosch University Professor A.I. Perold in an attempt to create a unique South African varietal, which became Pinotage
Characteristics of the grape: low tannins, dark, spicy, slightly Read more »

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