Welcome to South Africa. As of today, no one crafts or even attempts to make Pinotage like the South Africans. The history of the grape is tied more closely to South Africa, probably more then any other grape in the world.
Pinotage was born in a South African laboratory in 1925. A clone of Cinsaut and Pinot Noir it was born of two grapes which couldn’t have been more different, Pinotage has been weird from the beginning.
Cinsaut is a French red wine grape which is better known for it’s blending characteristics. It makes relatively uninteresting wine and has largely gone out of favor in France, in fact it is almost extinct in that country.
Pinot Noir as most people know, is not only one of the most difficult grapes to grow, but is not blended anywhere in the world.
The results have shown an interesting journey through South African wine. Pinotage was created in 1925, but was not bottled anywhere in the world until 1959.
Pinotage when made well is a wine well deserving of its cult status. Difficult to find and almost impossible to pick at random, Pinotage when made well offers a spicy and earthy wine which is entirely different then both grapes from which it comes.