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The Facts about Chenin Blanc 

Chenin Blanc is a wonderful and under apreciated grapeChenin Blanc is a noble grape from the Loire Valley of France, used for Vouvray and other wines.  The best wines have high acidity and a fascinating oily texture that provides a viscous feel in your mouth.  There are some excellent dry and crisp Chenin Blanc's from California along with quite a few ordinary wines.  

In the early 1970s, Americans first discovered many wonderful wines coming from California that were made mostly of completely from Chenin Blanc.  Most wines at this time made from Chenin Blanc were fragrant and lightly sweet and for a time Chenin Blanc became the best-selling wine in America.

As wine increased in popularity over all focus moved to today's more well known grapes like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc faded to the background of California's wine world.

One could argue that Chenin blanc is one of the most versatile of all wine grape grapes. It can make some of the best crisp, dry table wines, along with wonderful light sparkling wines, long-lived, unctuous, nectar-like dessert wines, and even brandy.

Chenin Blanc has flourished since the ninth century in its Central Loire homeland, on the highly calcareous, tuffa soils of Anjou and Touraine. Chenin Blancís tendencies towards green fruit characteristics with mineral notes and pronounced acidity traditionally lead to it being made into an off-dry wine, where residual sugar balances its high-acid nature. 

Well made Chenin Blanc from the Loire has a distinctive, musty, damp straw aroma. However, these same characteristics have sometimes been incorrectly confused with the off-aromas found in poorly made over sulphited sweeter versions of Chenin.


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