Parentage of the grape: Pinot Noir, Cinsault

History of the grape: In 1925, Stellenbosch University Chief Horticulture Professor Abraham Izak Perold created the Pinotage hybrid by crossing the French varietals Pinot Noir and Cinsault (locally known as “Hermitage”). His attempt at creating a signature grape for the country of South Africa succeeded. The grape grows and ripens easily in the country’s soils, due mostly to the robust Cinsault genes it carries. The flavor of wines made with the grapes can take some getting used to, however. While the Pinot Noir lends some gracious fruit qualities to the mix, Cinsault, which is mostly a blending grape back home in France, gives it a more rustic structure that tends to dominate. 
The early history of Pinotage was precarious at best. While it was embraced as a South African grape and widely planted and produced by the 1960s, many countries were wary to do business with South Africa due to its ongoing Apartheid practices. A Read more »

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Pinotage on Snooth

  • EM, that is quite an interesting story.  It's amazing the parallels we ... the wines, the South African Pinotage was the worse and I think the French Grenache was the best.  For the full pour glass, Sandra selected her Merlot from New Zealand and of course I went with my Grenache.  Dessert came at the end, with Sandra choosing the cappuccino th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Yeah - SA has really made strides over the past few years. Under apartheid they ... also some really drinkable Pinotage. (But the best was still from Napa.)And the Constantia was once one of the world's most acclaimed wines. I love sweet wines, so I'm a fa Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • LOTS of good wine out of S.A. They've got plenty of winemaking history down ... as others, even Cab Franc. Pinotage is an acquired taste, though some very good versions of it, too.Here's a site Richard Branson targeted both for its vineyard and its hotel: And here's a map that'll help you suss out where the bottles are coming from. Had a more c... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • Seven Sisters Pinotage Shiraz 2012


    Made by a group of sisters of color from South Africa this wine was one of the ... Great example of the native Pinotage varietal. Bold and flavorful. Great with mea Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105

  • Al, I've tasted a little under two dozen different S. African wines (red ... ... Chenin Blanc. The one pinotage I've had wasn't expensive but wasn't cheap either ~$22 and it came off kind of thin without much going on.  From what I've read, S. African winemakers are supposedly stepping things up a notch, may have to keep the research goin Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • I opened this 2014 Burl Pinotage from Western Cape, South Africa last night upon returning home.  Small glass to end the night with and it was ok, but nothing special.  I have yet to really enjoy a South African wine, but then again, I haven't paid much for one yet either.  Has anyone tried a good South African wine they would recommend (red or ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2011


    Juicy with lots of flavour Read More

    Wine review by Yello5

  • Winemaster's Reserve Pinotage. Nederburg 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by PJBradar

  • Radford Dale Pinotage Frankenstein 2014


    Minerally tar notes with a bit of cherry in the glass. Tart and spicy in the mouth, with floral notes and a continuation of the tar note and a finish that has a tannic chew. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • White Ivory soap, just about every single one. Kind of like when I hear people say Pinotage tastes like band-aids lol (but I don't get that from Pinotage) Read More

    Forum post in the topic what to drink

  • The 2010 Loma Prieta Pinotage from Lodi, made by a small Santa Cruz Mountains producer, is like Pinot on steroids! Amazing depth of fruit. Lacks all those unhappy elements often found in South African examples. Instead, rich with dark plums, Bing cherry, ripe raspberry, anise, caramelized brown sugar and strong tea.

    Comment by 74191HerVineNess 74191 HerVineNess

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    Page modification by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce

  • Much maligned - but very much a "macho" wine. Heavy fruit and long, great with meats. Tannins provide a very good structure - I have tasted a Lanerac Pinotage 1969 and it was as good as any Burgundy that I've had. OK maybe not the norm but it is possible with Pinotage. If you are looking for light, low alcohol, more feminine wine look elsewhere.

    Comment by 856410Chris Conrad 856410 Chris Conrad

  • An acquired taste, I believe...but once you've had want more of it.

    Comment by 82103Hulananni 82103 Hulananni

  • I've actually tasted two very fine Pinotage here in California. Con Brio Wines in Lodi makes a fantastic Pinotage which really brings out the fruit with the amount of sun in the fall. Also, Illuminare Winery in El Dorado County makes another Pinotage of excellent quality. When your choices become a brain numbing selection of the standard varieta...

    Comment by 40356jjknight38 40356 jjknight38

  • Do readers know that there's a Pinotage Club?

    Comment by 328537flyboy2 328537 flyboy2

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