Pinotage is South Africa’s principal varietal, though it is being planted elsewhere now. This doesn’t mean that it is their best grape, nor even the pride and joy of all South African winemakers.

It’s like the Marmite of wine – you either love it or hate it.  But it does have a specific character, and it is a wine you should really get to know your way around if you are serious about learning about South Africa’s wines.

pinotage, red wine, south african wine, varietal, south africa, southafricauncorked, south africa uncorked

It sprang from a cross between the one time ubiquitous Cinsault, a rather boring fruit which has been grubbed up over these past few years, and Pinot Noir.

The latter has been less than overwhelmingly successful in the hot climate, being a delicate and temperamental species infinitely better suited to the Côte d’Or.

But the two together can make an interesting blend, a somewhat spicy wine which is a fairly flexible pairing partner, going nicely with grilled meats, pizza and as mentioned previously duck stir fry.

Pinotage can be presented in a dramatic range of styles and unusual aromas such as bubblegum, paint, rubber and banana.  It can, in the case of top producers, produce a powerful and intriguing blend, and the best advice is to go for the best labels.  Fleur du Cap, Durbanville Hills and Nederburg produce some reasonably priced, accessible Pinotages.