Pinotage

South Africa's signature grape variety, a cross created there in 1925, between pinot noir and cinsaut (a high-production variety found in small quantity in some Châteauneuf-du-Pape and important in the Languedoc-Roussillon and North Africa). Pinotage wines are typically smoky and earthy, with off odors sometimes associated with less distinguished examples. There are minuscule plantings of the grape in New Zealand, California, and a few other winegrowing regions.