Pinotage wine variety in Australia

Pinotage is a red wine variety which was bred in the 1920s in South Africa from a cross between the red wine varieties Pinot Noir and Cinsaut.

Pinotage comment by Oz Clarke in his book Grapes and Wines

This variety is a major contributor to the South Africa wine industry. Lesser areas are grown in California and New Zealand and it plays a cameo role a few other countries.

Detail of the De Long Wine Map of South Africa showing the Stellenbosch Region where Pinotage is a popular variety.

Details of this  map can be found here.

The truth is that the Pinotage variety can be used to make truly unpleasant wines, or some very good wines, or in fact plenty of ordinary stuff in between.

The cross was made to try to combine the wine quality of Pinot Noir with the high yielding ability of Cinsaut.

Good Pinotage wines are very good.  They retain, or maybe constrain, the wild, rich flavours to make lighter red styles or sometimes deep rich reds.

Two problems which detract from quality of some wines made from this variety are over-aggressive tannins and volatile acidity.

Pinotage is also used to make Port style wines, sparkling wines, roses and sometimes as a component of blended white wines.

Australian WIneries using Pinotage

Just a few Australian wineries have shown any interest in the variety.  The field for new varieties is crowded and it seems others have more viticultural and marketing potential.

  • Barrecas Geographe
  • Bike and Barrel Alpine Valleys
  • Billy Button Alpine Valleys
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Ravens Croft Wines Granite Belt
  • Thick as Thieves Yarra Valley
  • Toppers Mountain New England
  • Whyworry Wines New England
Updated 9 October 2018

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