Thirty grapes in thirty days: Pinotage

South African Wine

So yesterday we have Pinot Grigio, today we have Pinotage!

Many people might assume that because of it’s name Pinotage is very alike to Pinot Noir. Yes they are both red grapes, yes they are (technically) related but their styles are actually very different. Pinotage has actually been compared to Shiraz!

In winemaking a cross is a grape that has two parent grapes from the same species plant. Cinsault and Pinot Noir were crossed to make Pinotage. The aim was to produce a grape that grew with great success in the hot climate of South Africa (Cinsault) but with exceptional taste (Pinot Noir). Hence the creation that is Pinotage.

Originally from South Africa, Pinotage is slowly starting to expand to other countries. New Zealand, California, Australia and even Cyprus are planting to the dark luscious grape. However, without a doubt, the best Pinotage is found in the depths of South Africa. Our favourite is the Laibach Inkawa Simonsberg Pinotage. This wine has been aged in oak for 15 months giving the wine a great balance and complexity with classic oak aromas. Pair with chorizo, lamb and dishes filled with Indian and Oriental spices.

Pinotage is beautifully crafted. It is an extremely dark red in colour, almost black. Common notes include plum sauce, wild ripe berries and tobacco. The palate is clean and lively with silky tannins. An unbelievably elegant grape.

by Rebekah Hilton

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