We had a question from a reader a while ago: “I discovered pinotage many years ago in Cape Town. But unfortunately, the quality has varied a lot. Are there any pinotage wines that you can recommend?” Pinotage is South Africa’s own grape, a cross between pinot noir and cinsault made back in 1925. The first commercial pinotage wine was made in 1959 in Stellenbosch. Although the grape variety is unique to the country, it has always been a bit in the background.
It is planted on 8000 hectares (out of 115,000 hectares), which is a less than cabernet sauvignon and syrah. And as our reader pointed out, the quality has varied. Now the grape is making a comeback. Both producers and consumers are starting to appreciate it more. We will see more of pinotage in the future.
A few tasting suggestions:
Kanonkop is one of the classical pinotage producers. Look for the flagship Kanonkop Pinotage and the less expensive Kadette Pinotage. Also, in Stellenbosch, Kaapzicht and Bosman make fabulous pinotage. Down in Walker Bay on the South Coast, Springfontein Pinotage shows clearly the brilliance of their winemaker Tariro Masayiti.
But there are plenty to choose from.