Monday, 27 October 2014

Pinotage Wine

Pinotage is a red wine grape developed in South Africa in 1925 from a cross of pinot noir, a nice grape for red burgundies, and cinsaut (also known as hermitage), a grape from the French Languedoc region. The first Pinotage wine was, however, only sold in 1961.

The majority of the crop is grown in South Africa's beautiful wine region Stellenbosch, about 30 miles east of Cape Town.

Although originally a South African grape, it is nowadays also grown in the United States, New Zealand and Brazil.

The grapes are used for red wine, often blended, fortified or used for sparkling wines.

There are several styles of Pinotage, ranging from a not too expensive, light-bodied red wine with some unusual aromas to a full-bodied red wine with balance, elegance and fully developed fruit flavours. In general, the taste of Pinotage is a mixture of the following flavours: plum, blackberry, raspberry, black pepper, hoisin, licorice, chocolate, sweet tobacco, smoke, rooibos, tar, bacon, sweet and sour. Because of these strong flavours, Pinotage may not be to everyone's taste.

Answering the question when best to drink Pinotage, will result in a wide range of answers. Like most other good wines, a good Pinotage goes well with most good food.

The medium-bodied Pinotage pairs extremely well with a fish or sushi. The full-bodied Pinotage is better to be served with venison and beef (e.g. boeuf bourguignon), but is also very suited for a barbecue. As Pinotage also has chocolate flavours, it can very well be served with chocolate desserts and cakes.

South Africa even has it's own Pinotage Association, which represents all the Pinotage grape farmers and Pinotage wine producers. Purpose of the association is to increase the knowledge of Pinotage production, research regarding Pinotage and identify problem areas in growing and producing Pinotage.

Furthermore there is the Pinotage Youth Development Academy, located in Stellenbosch.

It aims to help young, disadvantaged South Africans to prepare them for employment within the wine industry and related sectors, like hospitality and tourism.

According to the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS) almost 5% of all the red grapes used for wine-making were Pinotage. It is to be expected that the market share of Pinotage will increase in the next couple of years.

As much as you can write about any wine, the best way is to try it yourself. The proof is in the drinking!

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