Chenin Blanc - White Wine Grape

Chenin Blanc, from France to South Africa and...

Chenin Blanc originated in Anjou, in the Loire Valley of northwestern France. It was known as far back as the Ninth Century and later expanded into the Rhône Valley in eastern France. In addition to France, Chenin Blanc is grown in Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, in particular in California, where it has taken a back seat to Chardonnay. It is the most widely planted white grape variety in South Africa, where it is called Steen.

Classic Image of Chenin Blanc Grapes Chenin blanc image first published in Traité général de viticulture : ampélographie / publiée sous la direction de P. Viala ; secrétaire général V. Vermorel, avec la collaboration de A. Bacon.. [et al] Paris: Masson et Cie, 1901-1910.
vol. 2 plate 22

Illustration courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Wine Literature of the World website.

Chenin Blanc wine varies widely in style depending on the climate, the soil, and the winemaker’s art. Cool areas produce a full-bodied, fruity, acidic, high-alcohol wine. Unlike most white wines, some top of the line Chenin Blanc wines can continue to develop for decades. In the right climate, such as in Anjou-Saumure of the Loire valley, these grapes produce an excellent dessert wine. The Vouvray region in the eastern Loire Valley specializes in sparkling wines. Warm areas tend to produce large quantities of bland grapes for blending or for jug wines.

Enjoy Chenin Blanc wines with Clams, Oysters, Mussels, Shrimp, Quiche, spicy Mexican food and Camembert Cheese.

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