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

  • Delheim Pinotage Simonsberg-Stellenbosch 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by Sovereign49

  • Post House Blueish Black South Africa 2006


    Peppery, menthol and mineral nose. Very meaty with some dense prune notes. Still young, with some tightness. An earthy mineral finish. Not bad, good for the price. Not for fruit lovers though. Read More

    Wine review by Philip

  • Fairvalley Pinotage 2002


    unexpectedly earthy; notes of berry, black fruit, plum Read More

    Wine review by lora

  • Kumkani Pinotage Stellenbosch 2002


    a great year for this producer Read More

    Wine review by scottweil

  • 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

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