1. Chenin Blanc is the great white grape of the Loire Valley in central France.
2. Most Loire Chenin Blanc is a 100% varietal wine but up to 20% Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is allowed to be blended in parts of the region.
3. Its naturally high acidity enables Chenin Blanc wines to age for decades.
4. It is an extremely versatile grape, capable of a wide range of wine styles.
5. It can make dry wines, high-quality traditional-method sparkling wines and full-bodied luscious sweet wines.
6. It is the most planted grape in South Africa where it’s also used to make brandy.
7. Flavours include green apple, white flowers, dried straw, and honey.
8. High-quality sparkling wines made from Chenin in the Loire include Crémant de la Loire, Saumur Mousseaux and Vouvray.
9. Chenin’s high acidity can lend it to malolactic fermentation but the trend is to avoid this because it masks the character of Chenin.
10. Chenin Blanc does well in New Zealand from Gisborne to Central Otago but quantities are minuscule with approximately 22 hectares nationwide.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!