If you enjoy your wine, the French cultivar of Cinsaut may ring a bell. In 1925, Stellenbosch viticulturist Professor Abraham Izak Perold crossbred Cinsaut, also known as Hermitage, with Pinot Noir to produce the much-loved Pinotage.
While Pinotage went on to fame as our proudly South African red wine, Cinsaut – typically spelled “Cinsault” in France – fell out of favour despite being widely planted across the local winelands and used as a crucial component in blended red wines.
Enjoy your Chateau Libertas, Tassenberg or Alto Rouge? In the past they have all benefitted from a good splash of Cinsaut.
But local wine-lovers are happily rediscovering the potential of Cinsaut bottled on its own, as a handful of adventurous winemakers put this grape from southern France back in the spotlight.
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