Pinotage - good, bad or coffee? All about SA's national grape.

by: Cathy Marston | 05 Nov 2009
Pinotage grapes at Diemersfontein

Origins and history: – right here in SA! Professor Perold at Stellenbosch University crossed Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (at the time called Hermitage) in 1925 seeking to produce a grape capable of coping with the high African temperatures and at the same time producing good yields. Has had a rocky history but seems to be improving its image and developing distinctly different, but nonetheless popular styles. Many people blend it with other cultivars to make a ‘Cape Blend’.

Characteristics: – most popular current style is the ‘Chocolate/coffee’ style – lots of toasted oak with chocolate, coffee and hazelnut notes. Other, cooler-climate wines might have elegant black cherries, dark plums and licorice. Bad examples still taste of bitter bananas – thankfully these are getting less and less!

Famous Wines (Unique South African Grape): – Ashbourne, De Waal Top of the Hill, Kaapzicht Steytler'Vision', Beyerskloof, Diemersfontein

If it was a Person: – Lucas Radebe



Pinot Noir

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