#DrinkChenin Day 2021: all about chenin and which to drink

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Today, Friday 18 June is #DrinkChenin Day 2021. An initiative of Portland, Oregon winemakers Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe, #DrinkChenin Day celebrates what they call “the greatest white grape varietal on earth“: Chenin Blanc!

#DrinkChenin Day 2021

WHAT IS CHENIN?

Chenin, also known as Chenin Blanc, is a white wine grape variety. The results of molecular and genetic analyses show that Chenin is a descendant from the Jura region grape Savagnin.

 

ORIGINS OF CHENIN

Pierre Galet, French ampelographer theorises that Chenin blanc originated in the Anjou wine region sometime in the 9th century. He believes it then travelled to Touraine by at least the 15th century.

 

WHAT WINES DOES CHENIN PRODUCE?

Chenin produces a variety of different wines:

 

These can be still white wines that are:

  • dry (Jasnières, Savennières, Vouvray, Montlouis, Anjou, Saumur, etc.), or
  • sweet even liquor-like wines in certain vintages or according to the sorting of the winery (Bonnezeaux, Coteaux du Layon, Coteaux de l’Aubance, Jasnières, Quarts de Chaume, Savennières, Vouvray, Montlouis).

 

Chenin is also used in the production of sparkling wines (Crémant de Loire, Crémant de Limoux, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Saumur, Vouvray).

 

#DrinkChenin Day 2021

 

WHERE IS CHENIN GROWN?

France

The Loire Valley is the region of Chenin’s origin and is one of its most characteristic varietals. It covers a number of appellations in this region. Chenin is also called the pineau blanc de la Loire (see all its other names in the pictogram above) in Touraine.

 

Chenin, or chenin blanc, is the only grape authorised for the production of Vouvray, Montlouis, Chaume, Jasnières, Savennières, Bonnezeaux, Coteaux du Layon, Coteaux-de-l’aubance and Quarts de Chaume.

 

Chenin is also found in France’s South West and in the Languedoc region. In Languedoc, it is a recommended varietal (cépage recommandé). It is also part of the blends of several AOCs in the Limoux appellation. It makes:

  • up to 10% of the blend in the La blanquette de Limoux, and
  • up to 40% of the blend in the crémant de Limoux.

 

South Africa

Chenin Blanc is the most planted varietal in South Africa. For many years it was known by the name steen. Today, South Africa’s Chenin plantings are twice the size of the Loire Valley’s.

 

Elsewhere around the world

Chenin is also well represented in the new world wine countries of Argentina, Australia, Chile, California and New Zealand.

 

CHENINS TO DRINK FOR DRINK CHENIN DAY 2021

 

Clos Cachet

www.closcachet.com.au

Ashleigh Huggins from Clos Cachet recommends the Pithon-Paille Anjou Blanc “Mozaik” 2018 ($48) for Drink Chenin Day 2021.

 

Why?

Jo Pithon was at the forefront of organic farming, through the use of indigenous yeasts and the rejection of sugar and acid additions. He works with a small handful of biodynamic growers – just one farmer for Grololo and another for the Mozaik Blanc – to create some of the freshest and most soulful wines in France. So you will feel positive about enjoying a wine made completely organically. With a pale yellow color, the aromas of clear white and clear yellow fruits are expressed through the beautiful Anjou Blanc “Mozaik” that Jo Pithon has created. The mouth-feel is ample with a beautiful acidity characteristic of Chenin and the subsoil of schist.

 

What would you serve with this Chenin?

The MozaÏk Blanc is served perfectly with fish stew or fish pie, white meats or poultry.

 

France-Soir Wine Selections

http://www.francesoirwineselections.com.au/

Pierre Stock from France-Soir Wine Selections recommends the 2018 Chateau Yvonne Saumur Chenin Blanc for Drink Chenin Day 2021

 

Why?

It is so Saumur White, tasting the terroir, tiny oxidation but well wrapped with the acidity of the Chenin. Great freshness!

 

What would you serve with this wine?

Fish or white meat with creamy sauce

 

SHARE YOUR CHENIN!

Share a photo of your Chenin for Chenin Day 2021. Use the #DrinkChenin.

 

What’s your favourite Chenin based wine? How are you celebrating #DrinkChenin Day 2021?

#DrinkChenin Day 2021