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Know your wine grapes: Pinotage

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature variety.

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature variety.

Pinotage

It was bred there in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut (Cinsaut was known as “Hermitage” in South Africa during that time, hence the portmanteau name of Pinotage).

It typically produces deep red varietal wines with smoky, bramble and earthy flavours, sometimes with notes of bananas and tropical fruit, but has been criticized for sometimes smelling of acetone. Pinotage is often blended, and also made into fortified wine and even red sparkling wine. The grape is a viticultural cross of two varieties of Vitis vinifera, not a hybrid.

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