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Award-winning wines to celebrate International Pinotage Day

Discover South Africa's signature grape variety with medal-winning Pinotage wines from Decanter World Wine Awards.

A crossing of Cinsault and Pinot Noir, Pinotage is a red grape variety developed in South Africa in 1924, but it was not until the late 1980s that it began to gain recognition internationally.

Predominantly grown and vinified in South Africa, when produced well, Pinotage displays a range of red and black fruits like plum, currants, cherry and blackberry, banana and herbaceous characters, gaining additional complexity when aged in oak with notes of smoke, spice and chocolate.

Scroll down to discover 15 Pinotage wines to try from DWWA 2023

Produced as a varietal wine or as part of a blend, to celebrate this uniquely South African variety, we highlight benchmark examples from the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) – tasted and assessed by some of the world’s top wine experts, including South Africa Regional Chair Fiona McDonald.

On this, McDonald commented, ‘A DWWA medal is one that has genuine merit and value, because the level of assessment is so considered. People who judge here are experts in their field, experts in the specific country that they are judging. They know the ins and outs of the various regions, the price points, wine styles and so to get a Gold, a Platinum or even a Silver medal – the weighting of that is much heavier than it is for other similar competitions.’

Now in its ninth year, International Pinotage Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in October. To celebrate, discover 15 Pinotage wines which impressed most from the 2023 competition, with more to search at awards.decanter.com

Award-winning wines to celebrate International Pinotage Day


Merwida, Papenkuils Vlei Vygie 2022 (Rosé)
Silver, 90 points
Soft berry pomegranate and cranberry nose with creamy notes. Fresh and pleasant palate, harmonious, with a crisp long finish. Alc 12.5%

Cape Town

Durbanville Hills, Collectors Reserve The Promenade Pinotage, Durbanville 2021
Silver, 90 points
Lovely hedgerow and bramble fruit on the nose that carries to the palate. Bright, lively, well-structured and very persistent. Alc 14.54%

Citrusdal Mountain

Cecilia Wines, Pinotage 2021
Gold, 95 points
Intriguing nose displaying notes of earthy beetroot, blueberry jam, dark plums, smoky unes and a lick of vanilla. Well put together, bright and lovely. Alc 14%

Piekenierskloof Wines, Johan Van Zyl Pinotage, Piekenierskloof 2020
Silver, 90 points
Lifted nose of garrigue, cinnamon, star anise, black cherry and blackberry. Rich on the palate, with an interesting texture. Alc 14%

Coastal Region

Spier Wines, Creative Block 8 2017
Silver, 91 points
Fresh boysenberry and black cherry alongside polished leather and spice. Mature, with beautiful freshness and chalky tannins. Long finish. Alc 14.48%

The Mentors, Perold 2020
Silver, 91 points
Rich dark fruit aromas with baking spices and chocolate notes. Full bodied palate with creamy oak. Ambitious style, big and bold. Alc 14.5%

Bellingham Wines, The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage 2020
Silver, 90 points
Raspberry and blackberry fruit on the nose with a touch of smoke. Intense and pleasant fruit core, generous and juicy. Alc 14%

Bellingham Wines, The Founder Series Pod 2020
Silver, 90 points
Beautiful nose of violets, dark berries, gentle gamey notes and toasty undertones. Gorgeous palate, savoury and spicy, with supple tannins. Alc 14%


Bellingham, The Homestead Pinotage 2020
Silver, 93 points
Generous black fruit, vanilla and muddled violets aromas. Succulent and juicy, bright and friendly on the palate. Light and lively. Alc 14%

Warwick Wine Estate, Three Cape Ladies 2020
Silver, 91 points
Lifted notes of black plums with touches of tobacco, violets and sea breeze. Soft fruit on the palate, creamy texture. Alc 14%

Stellenbosch 1679, Single Vineyard Old Vine Pinotage 2020
Silver, 90 points
Subtle floral perfume with briary fruit and a hint of blackberry and blueberry. Spicy and plush on the palate, crunchy tannins. Alc 15%

Stellenbosch 1679, Single Vineyard Old Vine Pinotage 2021
Silver, 90 points
Very ripe scents of raspberries, black plums, graphite, dark liquorice and sweet spices. Jammy and warm, well-structured and harmonious. Alc 15.5%


Flagstone, Writer’s Block Pinotage 2021
Silver, 92 points
Spicy aromas of pecan nuts, ripe black plums and mulberry. Quite vibrant on the palate, fleshy and generous. Alc 14.83%

Western Cape

Asda, Extra Special Pinotage 2021
Silver, 91 points
Juicy red berries, violets and candy floss. Friendly, fun, ripe and sweet, with a harmonious fresh acidity. Bright finish. Alc 13%

Uniwines Vineyards, Daschbosch The Gift 2020
Silver, 90 points
Mature dark fruit, with savoury beefy notes and hints of cloves and balsamic tones. Soft and silky, creamy finish. Alc 14.5%

Search all DWWA 2023 results

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