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Chenin Blanc is special we all know that! But what makes it so? Without doubt we can certainly agree that Chenin Blanc has so many nuances - depending on exactly where it is grown and so we come to realize, with some certainty that chenin Blanc is quite easily the very best “translator of terroir.“ That fact that the translation can be so subtle like a beautiful piece of music written for piano and sensitively transposed for violin, it’s exactly in this way that chenin Blanc takes on the nuances of unique flavours and tells us about where it is planted. 


Taste the steely, minerality of Savennières or the rich almost honey and apple character of Vouvray, the crushed and baked apple of Stellenbosch and the almost waxy mineral purity of Swartland, and hundreds of variants in different soils and climate and elevation that occur in between! 


This is the true complexity of chenin which makes it so special, so unique, as well as the incredible potential for ageability. 


One could say that chenin has the ability to speak a language - not just fluently, but in all the accents and dialects of that language - from North to South and East to West. Could we call it the “linguistic grape”? 


Ken Forrester

Chairman, Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa

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