Since it first came to light in France about a thousand years ago, Chenin Blanc has been known as a major white grape of the Loire Valley. Ten centuries later, however, it is South Africa that is this versatile grape’s largest producer, accounting for about 20 percent of its vineyards, about twice as many as in the Loire. It’s not that the country suddenly adopted Chenin Blanc; it was introduced into South Africa in the late 1600s. But it spent most of its years there as the country’s workhorse, a grape that blended easily with other grapes in an array of styles. And until recently, it was known there as Steen. Today, South Africa has rediscovered it, the best examples now appearing unblended, bottled as a 100 percent Chenin Blanc, labeled under its proper name (occasionally with Steen added) and offering a vibrant, opulent wine.
About 20 years ago, Mulderbosch Vineyards, one of South Africa’s finest wineries, was among the first to take Chenin Blanc seriously as a grape variety to stand on its own. Now it has introduced three Chenin Blancs, each made from the grapes of a different single vineyard and packaged together as the Chenin Blanc Single Vineyard Series. Tasting them together, one can discern subtle nuances among them, each differing slightly from the others in color, aroma, intensity and depth of flavor. Each expresses its particular vineyard, and all express the refreshing acidity of the grape; the vibrancy; creamy mouth feel; lush citrus fruit, apple, pear and mango flavors; and rich aromas.
While the three wines present as a single package ($99), Mulderbosch also offers individual bottles of wine made of the grape from other vineyards under the label Chenin Blanc Steen Op Hout, prices ranging from $13 to $18. It begins with a forward aroma of lemon and lime that carries into the tropical fruits in the taste and a striking acidity: a refreshing wine.
Other South African wineries have also rediscovered Chenin Blanc. Among the most flavorful ones I’ve tasted are Ken Forrester, Fairview, Spice Route, Franschhoek La Cotte Mill, Simonsig and Raats Family. Prices range from $15 to $39.
Chenin Blanc works well with many foods, particularly with sushi, poultry, seafood and spicy foods.
Read This Next
FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Salem, Massachusetts, Announces 2023 Festival Schedule
The town of Salem, Massachusetts, may get a lot of attention come October and Halloween, but this year-round destination offers a full schedule of festivals perfect for any season.
Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win
Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!
4 Lesser-Known Museums to Add to Your Madrid Trip
With some of the world’s most iconic artists hailing from Spain, narrowing down which museum to visit when in Madrid can be challenging. Often, the fun of visiting a museum goes away when feeling pressured to see absolutely every famous work of art in a museum. Instead of venturing to one of Madrid’s larger and more well-known museums, choose one of these lesser-known museums for an equally enriching (and less-crowded) experience:
7 Hotels Prepare to Celebrate the Coronation in London, Ireland, Scotland
The coronation of King Charles III will be held Saturday, May 6, and seven hotels around London, Ireland and Scotland will get in on the festivities with different offers and amenities.
Exclusive Savings: Cruise Along the Danube River with Global Traveler
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
Luxury La Casa del Playa, Riviera Maya, Opens Estero Restaurant to Guests, Area Visitors
The 2-year-old La Casa de la Playa, an exclusive, award-winning luxury boutique hotel by Grupo Xcaret, recently announced the opening of its signature Estero restaurant to the general public.
Blue Zone Culinary Tour of Sardinia
5 Great Hotel Terraces and Rooftops
DailyMar 16, 2023
Wellness, Wildlife & Scenery at Alaska’s Tutka Bay Lodge
Within the Wild Adventure Company, a transformative adventure company in Alaska, ushers in a new vision for its hospitality offerings. Celebrating 40 years in south-central Alaska, with founders Carl and Kirsten Dixon at the helm, the mutigeneration-run company now focuses on a series of new adventure and wellness programs at its Tutka Bay Lodge, including the addition of a luxury-focused collection of hospitality services to add to its already outstanding reputation in Alaska.
Enter to Win $500 and Get Six Months’ Free Access to the New GT App
Now through May 8, sign up for a free six-month trial of the Global Traveler app and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card of your choice for Amazon, Apple or American Express.
March 2023Mar 16, 2023
Arctic Adventure: Embark on an Eco-Friendly Expedition in Greenland
Is Greenland really green?