International Pinotage Day is a day set aside to celebrate the unique South African wine grape, Pinotage. This dark, full-bodied wine is a blend of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, and has been called the "national grape" of South Africa.
Pinotage was created in 1925 by Dr. Abraham Izak Perold, the first professor of viticulture at Stellenbosch University. Pinotage was bred as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, in an effort to create a grape that would be resistant to the devastating disease, powdery mildew.
The grape took its name from its two parent grapes, "Pinot" from Pinot Noir, and "Cinsault" from Cinsault.
The first vines were planted in 1930, and the first wines were made in 1941. Pinotage quickly gained popularity, and by the 1960s, it was the most widely planted grape in South Africa.
Today, Pinotage is still the most widely planted red grape in South Africa, and is also grown in small quantities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.
International Pinotage Day was created by the Pinotage Association of South Africa, with the goal of promoting and celebrating the unique South African wine grape.
The day is celebrated with special events, tastings, and dinners around the world. In South Africa, the day culminates with the Pinotage on Tap Festival, where over 60 wineries come together to showcase their Pinotage wines.
So whether you're enjoying a glass of Pinotage on International Pinotage Day, or any other day of the year, be sure to raise a glass and give a toast to this unique South African wine grape!