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What is Pinotage?

What is Pinotage?

What is Pinotage? If you didn't already know, March is South African Wine Month at Taylor's. Any discussion of South African wines must include the country's signature varietal Pinotage. South Africa has no native grape vines, so all varietals planted there for winemaking originally come from Europe. Trying to find the perfect grape for South Africa's terroir the grape was bred by South African viticulturist Abraham Perold back in the early 1920's. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, one would be hard pressed to guess that the light Pinot Noir grape is one of the parents of this robust, dark and well structured grape. While there are a few pockets of Pinotage planted in various areas around the world, South Africa is still the only place where bottlings of the grape really excel, and the better ones really do excel and are worth trying.


photo credit: wine folly


Try these fantastic Pinotage wines:

Kanonkop "Kadette" Pinotage $21.99: Attractive deep plum, with scented aromas of red currants, black cherry, strawberry confit and nutmeg and wood spice. The palate is medium-full bodied and opulent, with finely textured tannins and flavors of red pastille sweets, bright cherries and a hint of nutmeg oak spice and dark chocolate. The acidity is in balance with the fruit and wood components, and adds a sparkle of freshness to the red and black fruit flavors on the finish.


Wildekrans Pinotage - Reg: $19.99, Taylor's: $17.99: This medium bodied Pinotage shows dried plums, wild cherries as well as a blend of cinnamon and clove on the nose. An assortment of berries, including strawberries and raspberries on the palate, followed by subtle spice and wood smoke from gentle soaking in older French barrels.