An Ode to Pinotage
As a Texas winery with deep roots in global winemaking and a special connection to South Africa, Dane’s home country, we are proud to spotlight a signature red wine grape. In honor of International Pinotage Day, meet the grape that, like Dane, was born and developed full, bold, worldly potential in a uniquely South African style.
Developed in 1924 by Abraham Perold, Stellenbosch University’s first professor of viticulture, Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage (or better known as Cinsaut). Born from an experiment Perold attempted, then seemingly forgot, Pinotage can mature for up to 25 years, resulting in a bold, smoky, earthy, flavor.
“Great Pinotage has good fruit purity in its youth and then develops into a very complex, savory wine with age,” says Emul Ross, winemaker for Hamilton Russell Vineyards, in a Wine Enthusiast article entitled, “It’s Time to Rethink South African Pinotage.”
Like many young varietals, Pinotage was first bottled in the 1960s after all, this wine has gone through high’s and low’s of public perception. With special attention to appellation, soil, and temperature, a rich wine with lower alcohol and higher natural acidity can be achieved.
In 1995, the Pinotage Association was established to improve the grape’s reputation and establish consistency. The association includes Pinotage producers who discuss and share experiences while developing criteria to define a distinctively styled South African Pinotage and identify top examples; thus, the birth of International Pinotage Day on the second Saturday of October!
Although we do not currently sell Pinotage at Untamed Wine Estates, you can sample a similar winemaking style and richness in our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
For the more daring wine connoisseur looking for an Untamed adventure that includes Pinotage, we have an exclusive opportunity available to Cru Members coming up in January 2024: Our annual trip to South Africa! Join us for a six-day journey to visit the wineries that shaped Dane’s career. In addition to touring and tasting from the best wineries in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, guests have the opportunity to experience the majesty of Cape Town and track Africa’s Big 5 on an up close and personal safari. Interested in learning more?
Contact us directly with questions about the trip by email or phone at (512) 662-1224.