Happy Chenin Day – today I raise my weekend glass to a white wine variety that is both exciting and versatile: Chenin Blanc.
Chenin has been cultivated in France for around 1300 years. It is associated mainly with the central Loire region, where it is known for its excellent wines in a wide range of styles, from dry to sweet. The grape variety has also made a name for itself in South Africa, where around half of the world’s 35,000 hectares of Chenin Blanc are cultivated. It has been grown there since the middle of the 17th century. First of all, producers appreciated its productivity, especially for brandy and bulk wine production.
It also produces first-class wines, such as the Chenin Blanc ‘Terroir Selection’ from Springfontein in the Walker Bay area. The winery is located only a few kilometres from the ocean, which provides wind and cool nights. The soils are rich in limestone, which contributes to the elegance of the wines.
Winemaker Tariro Masayiti matures this Chenin for eight months in used oak barrels and concrete eggs. The result is a fruity, fresh wine that is perfect for a hot day like today. Medium acidity, elegant lime and pear notes with a hint of honeydew melon. Medium length with a salty fresh finish.