Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc

Nov 09, 2023Eden Hargreaves

The grape with French origins, Chenin Blanc is well known in the new-world country of South Africa, were the grape has found a favourable home. Chenin Blanc originated in the Anjou region of the Loire Valley sometime in the 9th century, and from there traveled to Touraine by the 15th century. Through DNA analysis it has been established that one parent of Chenin Blanc is none other than the Jura wine grape Savagnin, which is also the parent of Sauvignon Blanc – making the two grapes’ half-siblings.

Though Chenin’s fame is notorious in South Africa – and is known as ‘Steen’ in the country, other new-world countries around the world grow the grape as well including Australia, New-Zealand, USA, and Mexico. The warm climates of these counties allow the grape to reach its full potential. Chenin is an early bloomer but a late ripener. It is quite resistant to drought but sensitive to cold. Climate and soil play a big part in the style of the wine produced, clay soils are favourable for dessert style wines, but well-drained soils produce a dry, lighter style of Chenin.

Chenin has a rather interesting flavour profile depending on the soil, climate and the style of wine produced. Chenin makes great sweet, dry, and sparkling wines. Dry style Chenin’s favour the flavours of honey, pear, apple, pineapple, and stone fruit. Where the sweeter style chenin show flavours of marmalade and butterscotch with hints of vanilla.

A versatile player when it comes to being paired with food, though the range of styles need to be considered. The lighter, dry styles pair excellently with delicate dish such as those containing fish and chicken, we recommend for you next alfresco dining experience why not try Opstal Estate Chenin Blanc 2019.

Chenin that has been oak-aged offers up similar flavours to Chardonnay and would pair excellently with your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey dinner, it will even stand up to the cranberry sauce! Perhaps something to consider when winter rolls around again and the holiday menus are being planned. We recommend trying Opstal Estate Carl Everson Chenin Blanc 2019.

If an evening of cheese and wine is called for, then a bottle of Fledge Jikken Bareru Nel & Coetzee Steen 2020 is the answer, this wine would partner excellently with brie or camembert. Simply brie-lliant!

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