Pinotage: Red South African variety developed by Professor A.I.Perold in 1924 as a cross between Cinsaut and Pinot Noir and then largely ignored for half a century.


Hartenberg Estate Pinotage grapes, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Revival began in the late 1980s thanks largely to Beyers Truter whose championing of the variety led to international recognition with Kanonkop. It comes in a plethora of styles according to growing conditions, vineyard management and winemaking. With an assortment of plum, cherry, blackberry and banana flavours, it takes to oak barrels and can age well.

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What does it taste like?

A difficult grape to grow and equally hard to make, Pinotage comes in a range of red wine styles from simple everyday glugger to the more serious structured reds. It is known for its characteristic burnt rubber character which most growers try to eliminate, and, when successful, produce a wine with a range of plum, cherry, blackberry and banana flavours. With oak cask maturation, it can become smoky and spicy.