Pinotage is South Africa’s very own grape and a must-try for anyone looking to expand their viticultural horizons.
This grape is a genetic cross between picky Pinot Noir and prolific Cinsault, aka Hermitage. Created by scientist Abraham Perold in 1925 at Stellenbosch University, Pinotage was made by and for South Africa.
These small, thick-skinned grapes create deep, inky wines with distinct, bold flavors. Look for black and purple fruit notes like blackberry, plum, black currant, figs, maybe even a slight touch of banana. Go deeper and you can expect hints of smoke, hoisin sauce, rooibos, tobacco, bacon, and grilled meats.
A bottle of Pinotage can be drunk young but becomes especially good with a bit of age as the flavors soften and deepen.
This is a wine that goes great with the charred smokiness of a summer BBQ – that’s ‘Braai’ if you’re in South Africa. Pinotage loves grilled lamb and veggies, a burger, or a creamy plate of vegetarian dhaal.