Chenin Blanc

Common synonyms: Pineau de la Loire, Chenere, Pinot Blanco (South America), Steen (South Africa), Fransdurif (Dutch)

Parentage of the grape: indigenous to the Loire Valley, France, perhaps related to Pineau d’Aunis (Chenin Noir)
History of the grape: Modern day French oenologist Pierre Galet states Chenin Blanc has been in France at least since the 9th century. Its origins are believed to be in Anjou, then it made its way to Tauraine (planted by Lord Chenonceaux, perhaps hence its name), and other parts of the Loire by the 15th century, and then into the Rhone. In the mid 1650s, Jan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East India Company brought vines to the Cape colony of South Africa. It was given the local name “Steen” after a history of mislabeling that plays out like a game of Telephone gone wrong: “Listan” which morphed into “La Stan” and then “De Steen.” Listan is Dutch name for a grape, yes, but the Palomino of Spain. What they in fact had Read more »

Mentor for Chenin Blanc Wines

Mary Margaret McCamic

Based in North Carolina, I'm a wine instructor at The Chef's Academy and owner of The Clever Vine, a wine consulting and education service. I hold the WSET Diploma and have a strong background in French wine, with a special interest in the Loire Valley.

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