Passionate About Pinotage

Pinotage is known as South Africa’s signature variety having originated there in the 1920’s. A professor of vilticulture at Stellenboasch university formulated various crossings of vines, and Pinotage was created from one of them. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, Pinotage presents a bolder taste. Pinotage is currently planted in New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and some parts of California albeit in small quantities.

Here’s why you should try Pinotage

Pinotage being low in acidity and high in alcohol content makes it versatile for food pairings. This proudly South African grape works exceptionally well with meat, beef and is the perfect companion at a barbeque. Pinotage pairs well with spicy dishes like curry. South Africans commonly pairs Pinotage with Snoek (South African game fish). For optimal enjoyment the wine benefits from decanting and should be served at 61-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pinotage Flavor and Pairings

Pinotage at its finest is aromatic yet elusive, think black cherry, blackberries, floral notes. Depending on the style one may pick up hints of red meat, spices or vegetal notes. The wine displays purity of fruit, a mineral core and silky tannin. The aging potential for Pinotage is anything from 5 to 15 years and even longer if stored under the correct conditions. One should bear in mind that as wine ages it starts losing its primary fruit characteristics and takes on a more savory character.

We’ve listed 6 must-try Pinotage from different regions for you to purchase from our online boutique


The Barista – Coffee Pinotage, Paarl – 2019 (750ml) | Price: $14.00

This is unique and distinctive wine that is produced with enormous care to make it a taste you will remember. “Think of chocolate-coated espresso coffee beans with candied cherries and butterscotch”. Does this sound delicious? It is indeed. These are the words of winemaker legend, Bertus Fourie.c

Southern Right – Pinotage, Hemel-en-Aarde – 2018 (750ml) | Price: $32.00

In the 2019 SA Special Report, MW Tim Atkin scored the Southern Right Pinotage 91/100.

He went on to say ‘Anthony Hamilton Russell is on a mission to improve the image of Pinotage around the world. This stylishly wooded example, mostly made with fruit from the Ashbourne property, is bright, breezy and attractive, all raspberry and black cherry fruit and fine-grained tannins. 

Delheim – ‘Vera Cruz’ Pinotage, Stellenbosch – 2016 (750ml) | Price: $58.00

Vivid crimson and purple hues are complimented by layered aromas of plums, red currants, tobacco, black cherries and chocolate truffles. The mid-palate is well supported by the complex array of fruit flavors – plums, mulberry and fresh cherries. Fine, velvety tannins underpin the fruit core and the wine shows impeccable balance and depth of flavors on the finish.

L’Avenir – Single Block Pinotage, Stellenbosch – 2018 (750ml) | Price: $48.00

91 points – Tim Atkin. A fresh bouquet of violets and dried cranberries with a hint of dark chocolate. A complex wine with integrated oak notes and sweet spices.

Rijk’s Cellar – Reserve Pinotage, Tulbagh – 2015 (750ml) | Price: $68.00

The wine is elegant, refined with a good concentration of fruit yet complex. A Special Reserve selection from 15 of the finest barrels.

Beyerskloof – Diesel Pinotage, Stellenbosch – 2017 Absa Top ten Winner Price: | $97.00

The nose is presenting a nuttiness to red/blue fruit a similar nutty nuance plum/cherry palate. Good structure, yet supple with life and interest. Good concentration and depth and long, spicy finish completes the picture. Structured and refined with deceptive concentration.


Delheim Pinotage

Delheim Pinotage. Photo by Eat Play Drink – Cape Town


International Pinotage Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of October, on this day South Africans celebrate this home-grown grape varietal. You can share South Africa’s passion for Pinotage by indulging in these home-grown wines featured and on our website.



BY Elvina Snell-Fortuin | October 19, 2020

Elvina Snell-Fortuin Elvina is a millennial wine blogger who centers her own blog around impacting responsible consumption, education and exploring the world of wine with like-minded people.