Chenin Blanc: The Jack of All Trades
The title is a reference to Chenin’s versatility.
Chenin Blanc’s original home is the Loire Valley of France, especially the Anjou and Touraine regions.
- Chenin Blanc’s high natural acidity makes it suitable for a wide range of wines – dry, sweet, still and sparkling
- When picked at optimum ripeness and when kept to a low yield, it exhibits floral and honeyed aromas and flavors, also green gage plums
- A great quantity of high yield low-quality Chenin Blanc is produced for blending purposes in California’s warm climate Central Valley.
- The cooler climate in Clarksburg, California area is producing age-worthy varietal Chenin Blancs with musky melon aromas
- South Africa is the world’s largest producer of Chenin Blanc
- Introduced into South Africa by the Dutch in the 17th century
- For centuries South Africa produced inexpensive, relatively neutral off-dry white wines
- With the re-integration of the country into the wine world after the fall of apartheid, there has been a move towards quality
- South African varieties designed to drink young often have notes of guava, banana, pineapple and pear