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The red grape variety (also Perold's Hermitage x Pinot) is a new breed between Cinsaut x Pinot Noir. The name is composed of parts of the names of the parent varieties Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Hermitage is a historical synonym for Cinsaut in South Africa). The cross was made in 1924 by Professor Abraham Isak Perold (1880-1941) at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. The long neglected vines were then saved from oblivion by a certain Charlie Niehaus and passed on to the Charles Theron Vine School. Here they were successfully grafted onto virus-free rootstocks in 1935. However, it was not until 1941 that wine was made from them for the first time. It was not until 1961 that the name Pinotage was used by the Stellenbosch Farmer's Winery, which finally became established.

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