Chenin Blanc is a super versatile grape used to make wine of varying styles: from sparkling to clean and crisp whites, oak aged, sweet or even skin contacts. Regardless of its style, Chenin Blanc is often characterised by its high acidity which helps preserve the wine for unrivalled longevity. Three regions are famous for growing it: the Loire Valley in the north-west corner of France, and Stellenbosch and Swartland, in the Western Cape of South Africa (with over 50% of global Chenin Blanc vineyards).
In the Loire Valley, the cool climate gives very different level of ripeness of the grapes. The less ripe grapes are used for sparkling production, while the riper ones are used to make rich, off-dry whites. The last picked are the over-ripe grapes, often affected by noble rot, which are used to craft the region’s famous, super-sweet wines. In South Africa, the wines tend to be very bright, fresh and fruity, with the high acidity of the grape counterbalancing the ripe fruit flavours greatly.
Baby Bandito Stay Brave 2020, Testalonga el Bandito, SA