Home > Pinotage, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #90: Grape Trivia – Pinotage

Weekly Wine Quiz #90: Grape Trivia – Pinotage

January 25, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Wine Quiz series is not meant to intimidate. The whole idea here is to have fun and learn something new. When answering the questions, it is fully encouraged to use all available sources of information, including Google or any other search engine. There are no embarrassing answers – the most embarrassing thing is not giving it a try…

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

We are continuing our grape trivia series, with the focus still on the red grapes, and today’s subject is Pinotage.

Have you heard of Pinotage? Have you ever tasted it? What do you think of it? What, looks like I start with the quiz before the quiz? Well, kind of. Just setting the scene.

Pinotage is a unique grape, purposefully created in South Africa by Professor Abraham Izak Perold in 1925. Pinotage was created as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes. Originally used only for blending, little by little Pinotage developed into a signature grape of South Africa, similar to what Zinfandel is for California, or Malbec for Argentina.

Pinotage might be one of the most polarizing grapes in the world – well, not the grape itself, of course, but rather Pinotage wines. From the very first smell, not even a sip, Pinotage effects a love/hate relationship on wine consumers and professionals alike. Sometimes, the off putting aromas are so strong, it really makes people to put Pinotage into the “never again” category.

Lately, with the advance of the latest winemaking methods and improved winemaking knowledge, there are more and more Pinotage wines which are easy to like. A good Pinotage typically shows dark ripe berries, accompanied with hint of smoke and earthiness, without any of the “non-wine related” flavors. While Pinotage is a South Africa’s signature grape, it is also successfully growing in many other parts of the world – New Zealand, California, Virginia, Brazil, Australia are all making interesting wines out of the Pinotage.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Explain the origin of the name Pinotage

Q2: While Pinotage primarily grows in South Africa, California also has some plantings of the grapes. Can you estimate the approximate size of Pinotage plantings in California?

a. 50 acres

b. 250 acres

c. 500 acres

d. more than 1000 acres

Q3: Here is the list of of nasty aromas often associated with the smell of Pinotage wines, except one. Do you know which one doesn’t belong?

a. Burnt rubber

b. Rusty nails

c. Paint solvent

d. Sauerkraut

Q4: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Pinotage-based wines rated in the Classic category

Q5: Pinotage was created in 1925, but for the long time it was used only as blending grape. Do you know when single-grape Pinotage bottling was first released in South Africa?

a. 1946

b. 1961

c. 1976

d. 1989

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

  1. January 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

    1. It is a portmanteau of pinot noir and heritage (what consult was called at the time in S.A).
    2. a. 50 acres
    3. d. Sauerkraut
    4. I am going with True
    5. I will go with b. 1961, but there seems to be a case for 1959 (but that was not one of the choices).

    • talkavino
      January 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Excellent work, Jeff. Did you ever taste Pinotage? If you did, what do you think?

      • January 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

        I have had a few and not a fan, but Oliver says there are some good ones out there…..

  2. January 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Let’s give this a try, given that I have a very weak spot for Pinotage. Love it when done right!

    1. It’s a combination of Pinot noir and Heritage, which is what Cinsault was called in South Africa at the time.

    2. No clue, but can’t be much. I am going with 50 acres.

    3. Sauerkraut? I have heard the other three, so I am going with Sauerkraut.

    4. I usually go with false, but given some of the low ratings I keep seeing on WS for Pinotage, I just assume that this time your statement is true: No classic rating for a Pinotage ever.

    5. I know that, I read that somewhere before: 1961! (My brain is so weird in what it decides to remember…)

    • talkavino
      January 26, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Excellent answers, Oliver! It is interesting that both you and Jeff missed the “m” in Hermitage : )

      • January 26, 2014 at 8:26 am

        It’s Hermitage??

        • talkavino
          January 26, 2014 at 8:45 am

          Yep. A famous region in Northern Rhone : )

        • January 26, 2014 at 9:51 am

          In my defense, I think that was a case of auto-correct….

        • talkavino
          January 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

          No worries whatsoever! Auto-correct is a fun tool to have : )

  3. January 26, 2014 at 10:07 am

    ….trying to comment a 3rd time. please forgive me if all 3 show up..
    1) The grape is a cross between Hermitage and Pinot Noir, therfore someone dubbed it Pinotage.
    2) a. a guess
    3) d.
    4) True , a hunch
    5) 1961
    I’ve had Pinotage before; in a blend with Merlot. The Pinotage gave the wine an earthy, racy quality kind of overshadowing the Merlot, even thought the Merlot was the prominent variety in the wine.
    Once again, thank you for the brain exercise. Cheers!

    • talkavino
      January 26, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Thanks for playing! There is only one comment, all is good.
      Pinotage is definitely an interning grapes. I think we like some wines for being un-Pinotage instead of the “real thing”…

  4. January 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

    1. Pinot Noir and Hermitage cross.
    2.50 acres.
    3.Sauerkraut
    4. No
    5.1989.
    PS. I am really enjoying the various Pinotages that I have come across lately. An interesting grape methinks… Cheers.

    • talkavino
      January 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Thanks for playing! I used to drink Pinotage a few years back, but not in the last 3-4 years. Need to look for it again…

  5. mattclark
    January 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    1. Pinot Noir and Hermitage
    2. 250 (50 just seems too small)
    3. Paint Solvent (as in turpentine?)
    4. True – seems like people who know their wines tend to dislike Pinotage
    5. 1976?

    PS – The wife and I took a trip to SA about a year and a half ago, visited Fransschoek and Stellenbosch, and really enjoyed some of the Pinotages we tasted. I am a fan.

    • talkavino
      January 29, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Thanks for playing! SA is definitely one of my dream destinations, hopefully one day…

  1. January 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm
  2. February 1, 2014 at 9:07 am
  3. June 28, 2014 at 9:19 am

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