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Chenin Blanc

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Chenin Blanc is a high acid grape variety that can be made into sparkling, dry or even sweet wines. Depending on how ripe the Chenin Blanc grapes are when they are picked, they can be made into sparkling wines (that need higher acidity) or dry wines that have an abundance of ripe fruit characters from using riper grapes. Younger Chenin Blanc wines usually show aromas and flavours of fresh apples and tropical fruit whereas the older Chenin Blanc wines have a more smoky, richer flavour profile. In addition, Chenin Blanc is used to make some of the best dessert wines in the world, again, the combination of high acidity and ripe fruit provides a wine with depth and structure, at the same time.

Chenin Blanc is grown around the world but it does particularly well in Australia (Margaret River and McLaren Vale), The USA (California), Argentina (Mendoza) and South Africa (Paarl, Swartland).

Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s most widely grown grape. Winemakers in South Africa are making complex and concentrated Chenin Blanc wines from old bush vines,  that can be aged for decades.

Some of the most impressive Chenin Blanc wines come from the Loire Valley in Central France. Climate and soil make a big difference to Chenin Blanc wines and the Loire Valley has a diverse range of both. The appellation of Savennieres produce full bodied, dry Chenin Blanc wines while The Coteaux du Layon appellation makes incredibly good sweet wines that have an abundance of flavour and acidity. The appellations of Vouvray and Saumur produce still and sparkling Chenin Blanc wines. The appellation of Anjou, also in the Loire Valley is known for dry wines that are often matured in oak.

 

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