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
 “The Loire town of Vouvray produces Chenin Blanc wines in all levels of sweetness, still and sparkling. Photo by Elliot Essman”