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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Popular Pinotage wines

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Popular Regions for Pinotage View all

  • Stellenbosch

      Stellenbosch is located within the Coastal Region in South Africa’s Western Cape province....

  • South Africa

      The history of wine-making in South Africa began as the Dutch East India company establish...

  • Wellington

  • Simonsberg-stellenbosch

  • Paarl

      The Paarl wine region is located in the Coastal Region of South Africa’s Western Cape. The...

  • Swartland

  • Robertson

      Robertson is a wine region within the Breede River Valley in South Africa, centered around...

  • Coastal Region

      The Coastal Region, within the Western Cape district, is considered the heart of the South...

  • Western Cape

      The Western Cape province in South Africa accounts for the majority of the wines produced ...

Popular Wineries using Pinotage

  • Warwick Wine Estate

    Warwick wine estate was known as the farm ‘Good Success’ from 1791 until 1902. After the Anglo...

  • Boschkloof

    Boschkloof is a small family winery in the Stellenbosch valley of South Africa. The winemaker Jac...

  • Kanonkop Estate

    Kanonkop Estate has been described by those in the know as being the South African equivalent of ...

  • Delaire

    Delaire's unique location on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass is noted for its...

  • Clos Malverne

    Seymour Pritchard bought the 10-hectare farm Malvern Heights in 1969 from Colonel JW Billingham, ...

  • Beyerskloof

    In 1988 one of the Cape's most foremost wine makers, Beyers Truter of Kanonkop Estate formed a pa...

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Pinotage on Snooth

  • Cathedral Cellar Pinotage 2001


    I recently moved to South Africa and have started to explore the country through wine. The Pinotage grape has provided the most interesting discovery. I had never tried Pinotage wines before coming to South Africa. Having been warned that it could be an acquired taste, I started carefully. I quickly threw caution to the wind and have tried sever... Read More

    Wine review by Balthazar34

  • Mcnab Ridge Pinotage Anderson Valley Napoli 2005


    Dried cherry aromas, overripe cherries and dark berry fruit on the palate. Brightens up on mid palate ending with hints of bittersweet dark chocolate on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Elvino

  • Fort Ross Pinotage Sonoma Coast Fort Ross Vineyard 2003


    Dark cherry fruit with an earthy quality, Very rich aromas and flavors, but light in body and mid-palate. Clean finish Read More

    Wine review by Elvino

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    Definitely took some getting used to, but by the end of my glass I was singing its praises! One of the few times I can recall being really surprised by a wine. I'm not even sure how to characterize the flavors except original. Read More

    Wine review by clintob

  • Man Vintners Pinotage Western Cape 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by PattiD

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    This wine has a somewhat hot nose accompanied by a fruity aroma. This is followed by a strong full-bodied flavor in the mouth marked by the taste of fruit - the plum is especially noticable. The strong sensation of tannins reduces the balance of this wine somewhat, and despite being also slightly on the dry side of my usual scale of preference, ... Read More

    Wine review by h2o1

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    Powerful molasses and earth nose. Attack is very light -- I found that the real taste (leathery and dry) didn't begin to show until the wine was completely saturating my mouth. There's a lot going on here. Somewhat hot but in a pleasant way. I think within a year or two it will be even better to drink.The eucalyptus sticks around for a long time... Read More

    Wine review by mark

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    To start off with, this blend of pinot and cinsault is decidedly a rather strange wine. That said, I'd have to say it's a new favorite. The color is something of an orange pink. Plenty of the mint that South African wines are famous for on the nose, along with some bananna walnut bread. On the attack -- which is very smooth -- is some more of th... Read More

    Wine review by kabir

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    Intriguing nose of plums, eucalyptus and oak. In the mouth an attack of surprisingly strong tannins, but its counterbalanced by minty notes, fruit and vanilla from the oak. A slightly barnyard and mineral finish. Good. Read More

    Wine review by Philip

  • Warwick Estate Red Blend Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Three Cape Ladies Cape Blend 2001


    warwick wines from south africa are stellar across the board, but this ... ... sauvignon with merlot and pinotage. pinotage is unique to south africa and adds some oomph to this wine!it is hearty enough to stand up to bold flavors and i love it with anything grilled on the bbq. in my opinion, warwick is making some of the top wines in all of... Read More

    Wine review by Magnum2

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