1-3 NOVEMBER 2022

2nd chenin blanc international congress





A unique global conference dedicated to the noble grape varietal, Chenin Blanc, takes place from 1 - 3 November 2022 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. A meeting of academics, wine producers, viticulturists, wine tourism operators, wine writers, sommeliers, trade and influencers will explore and learn, taste and debate, network and also enjoy the unique expressions of Chenin Blanc from around the world.


An interactive and multidisciplinary congress filled with cutting edge research presentations, technical tastings of Chenin Blanc wines, engaging vineyard tours and unique wine and food experiences, born from authentic and culturally diverse contexts and landscapes.


This 2nd edition is proudly hosted by the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa in close relationship with the Académie du Chenin, Destination Angers and the City of Angers (Loire Valley, France), proud to have launched and hosted the 1st International Chenin Congress in 2019 in partnership with the Federation viticole Anjou-Saumur, Touraine et Sarthe and Interloire.



Jamie Goode is a UK-based wine writer, lecturer, wine judge and book author. With a PhD in plant biology, he worked as a science editor, before starting wineanorak.com in 1999, which became a popular wine website. Since 2005 he’s been the wine columnist for UK national newspaper The Sunday Express, and has written regularly for a range of publications. He is active as a speaker/lecturer and also a wine judge, and is one of the co-chairs for the International Wine Challenge. Goode’s books include the The Science of Wine, Authentic Wine, I Taste Red and Flawless.

Jamie Goode

Rosa Kruger is a vineyard manager for different cellars who designs new vineyard sites and manages existing vineyards for quality wine. She has been doing exactly this for the last 20 years. She travels annually to the most interesting vineyards of the world to keep on learning what it takes to make a good wine.

Rosa Kruger

Gabriel Lepousez is a French neuroscientist and an international expert on sensory perception and brain plasticity. He received his doctorate in Neuroscience from the Paris Sorbonne University, and hold a research position at Institut Pasteur in the Perception and Memory Lab.

As a wine enthusiast, Gabriel also offers his scientific expertise to the world of wine education, sharing his extensive knowledge of the brain in the context of wine tasting.In addition to international lectures and regular contribution to wine education programs, he has co-founded in 2016 L’Ecole du Nez, a neuro-sensory training for wine professionals to understand how the brain works during wine tasting and how to improve our sensory performance. He is a member of the Amorim Academy since 2018. In 2022, he joined the tasting committee of La Revue du Vin de France magazine.

Gabriel Lepousez

Johan Burger is a Professor in the Genetics Department at Stellenbosch University where he teaches molecular genetics at undergraduate level. His research team comprises of several postgraduate students, post-doctoral fellows and a senior researcher. Current research is focussed on the molecular characterisation of plant-pathogen interactions, and his research group is internationally recognised for their work on the aetiology of virus and virus-like diseases of grapevine and fruit crops, genome sequencing of grapevine cultivars, and lately, the application of genome editing technologies to introduce tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses in a number of food and fruit crops. Several of these research projects are in collaboration with international consortiums.

Johann Burger

Patrice This is research director at INRAE (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Nutrition and Environment, formerly INRA), an international expert on grape genetic diversity, domestication and the analysis of genetic basis of agricultural traits. He devotes now to the analysis of intra and intervarietal genetic diversity at the whole genome level using genome sequence data.

Patrice This

Technician at the French Institute of Vine and Wine at the Pôle Val de Loire-Centre. Works on the conservation of grape varieties, the selection of new clones, the creation of varieties and the distribution of plant material.

Virginie Grondain

Tara Southey, currently driving TerraClim and passionate about climate and plant responses. She has in time gained the skills of an agro meteorologist.  

Her PhD transitioned into a translation PostDoctral position driving the wine industries flagship project TerraClim, which is to better understand the unique climate dynamics in the Western Cape, she is involved in building an integrated climate, GIS, Remote Sensing and crop database, to provide farmers with decision making tools for climate resilience.

Tara Southey

Jonathan's qualifications include an international masters in wine business management and marketing and a PhD (Business Administration) from UCT GSB. He convenes and teaches on the executive wine business and hospitality leadership programmes at UCT GSB as well as other local and visiting postgraduate and undergraduate programmes. Research interests include strategic marketing, consumer behaviour, global marketing and trade, collaborative innovation, and meta-organisational strategy. Jonathan runs collaborative wine industry research at UCT GSB, and his opinion pieces regularly appear in mainstream business media such as Business Day. As a former restaurants director, wine and restaurant judge, and magazine columnist he is a global wine and hospitality industry expert. As a business and marketing strategist, Jonathan helps meta-organisations through his strategy agency Collectivantage.

Jonathan Steyn

Prof Wessel du Toit is the current chair and  teaches wine production and wine chemistry at the  Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University. His research focusses mostly on oxidation in wine, sensory analyses of wine and phenolics in red wines. He has international collaborations with several international Universities. Prof Du Toit has managed a number of research projects in which Chenin Blanc was investigated, which included sulphur compounds and their role played in this cultivar wine.

Wessel du Toit
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Prof Melané Vivier is Professor in the South African Grape and Wine Research institute and the Department of Viticulture and Oenology of Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is program leader of the Grapevine Molecular Biology and Biotechnology group and interim director of the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch University. Her research group focuses on integrative research, where the processes under study are evaluated in a systems approach with a current focus on Molecular and metabolite profiling of grapevines in vineyard settings.

Melané Vivier

Ms Talitha Venter is currently a Junior Lecturer in Viticulture at the Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University. She has a strong industry background having been involved in vineyard management for 10 years and uses this experience in teaching practical viticulture. Her research focus is digital viticulture and she has been involved in management of project in this field over the past three years. Ms Venter is currently busy with a PhD in viticulture working on non-destructive quality assessment of table grapes. She was and continues to be involved in the re-establishment and management of the Welgevallen Training and Research Vineyards at Stellenbosch University. Chenin blanc is a core component in these vineyards: one vineyard planted to Chenin blanc is dedicated to demonstrating various trellis systems and the cultivar is also included in a fit-for-purpose irrigation research vineyard.  

Talitha Venter
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Marisah Nieuwoudt is the Wine Tourism Manager at Vinpro, her key roles are business development, research, marketing and advocacy. She is an experienced tourism researcher and marketer with a background in communication, media and trade relations and digital account management. Marisah completed her Bachelor of Technology, B-Tech Tourism Management (cum laude) at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) as well as a module towards her Master’s Degree in Geography of Tourism (cum laude) at Stellenbosch University. She was selected in 2016 as jury member for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and serves on the South African Wine Routes Forum and the steering committee of the Great Wine Capitals.

Marisah Niewoudt

Dr Jeanne Brand holds a PhD in wine biotechnology (focus: wine sensory evaluation) from the University of Stellenbosch. Her field of expertise is the development and modification of rapid sensory methods tailor-made for wine evaluation. She has an interest in combining different types of sensory data with quality, consumer, and chemical data through advanced statistical analysis. Providing fit-for-purpose sensory solutions, based on scientific research, to the wine industry is one of her ongoing aspirations.

Jeanne Brand

Originally from South Africa where he studied viticulture and enology at the University of Stellenbosch, Etienne Neethling came to France in 2008 to complete his masters and doctoral studies. Etienne Neethling is today a lecturer researcher at the Ecole Supérieure d'Agricultures in Angers, developing research work on adapting the wine sector to climate change. He is also the head of the international master program in vine, wine and terroir management and an OIV expert within the ENVIRO group.

Etienne Neethling

Dr Helene Nieuwoudt is  a senior researcher (external in 2022) attached to the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University. She actively collaborates with the Chenin Blanc Association. Dr Nieuwoudt has managed industry-funded research projects on Chenin blanc for more than 10 years, covering a range of topics. In collaboration with her international research network, papers and conference presentations on Chenin blanc wine flavour chemistry,  data processing, wine sensory characteristics, and consumers’ perceptions were published.   Her present research focuses on the Chenin blanc aroma wheel and sensory perceptions by non-English speaking Chenin blanc wine drinkers.

Hélène Niewoudt


The partners of the 2nd Chenin Blanc International Congress bring together experts and players from the wine growing regions of South Africa, scientists, academics, trade, wine writers, wine tourism experts and sommeliers with counterparts from countries such as France, Australia, California, India and Israel amongst others to discuss and debate, explore and learn and ultimately experience the unique expressions of Chenin from around the world. This includes special delegations from the Loire Valley, France the ancestral home of the Chenin Blanc varietal.






In vineyard coverage in South Africa, the world’s leading producer of Chenin
Producer countries
World grape variety

Sources: InterLoire, France AgriMer


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