While Chenin Blanc is grown throughout the globe, we have two decidedly favorite places where it is produced: South Africa and France. While some is grown in the USA and Australia, we recommend sticking to these two regions. It is a highly versatile grape (sort of like the Jeep of wines) that varies in ripeness, sweetness, and acidity.
- Vouvray, Loire Valley, France – Vouvray is home to both still and sparkling (called cremant) versions of Chenin Blanc and offers wonderful value, especially when compared to Chardonnay from Burgundy. Bottles range from sweet, to semi-dry, and bone dry. Dry versions are highly mineral with some notable floral notes on the nose. Sweet bottles are more viscous and present with almonds, tropical fruits, and oranges on the nose. These wines, as there are so many versions, are highly versatile with pairings, but our favorites include goat cheese, citrus tarts, poultry, mushrooms, and dishes with a cream sauce. A fun region to explore, we recommended trying a few different bottles to find one with the right acid/sweet balance for your palate! And feel free to reach out to us for any personalized recommendations!
- Stellenbosch, South Africa– Locally Chenin Blanc is known as ‘Steen’ in South Africa and many of the bottles are critically acclaimed, but still offer an amazing value. Many 95+ rated are under $39, which is exceptional. The most widely planted white grape in South Africa, great attention to detail is paid by many producers. The wines tend to show exceptional balance with aromas of white flower, stone fruits, citrus, as well as some honey and toast (from the yeast contact while aging). Often compared to an un-oaked Chardonnay from Chablis, we see this as a true value wine that pairs best with a variety of savory foods. Do be careful if you enjoy oaked wines, as most Chenin Blanc doesn’t see oak, however, there are some producers that utilize it.
Pictured are Vouvray (above) and Stellenbosch (bel0w)