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Chenin Blanc Wine Varietal Definition

Chenin blanc grapes

Chenin Blanc is a grape variety producing fruity, lightly sweet or sometimes dry wines. This varietal is used for France’s Loire Valley whites (Pineau de la Loire), notably Vouvray, while in California (still and sparkling), the Northwest (Eastern Washington, Idaho and Oregon) and Texas it is used mostly for blending. Origins of Chenin Blanc have been traced back to ninth-century Anjou, but it was actually named after the Mont Chenin in Tourraine. In South Africa it is also known as Steen. A high-yielding grape with good acidity, it helps in the aging of wine. Whether you prefer sweet or more on the dry side, it makes for a good sipping wine. Pair it with salads and cheese.

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(Updated: 11/19/12 JLD)

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