This little beauty has been cultivated in France for well over 1,000 years.
This little beauty has been cultivated in France for well over 1,000 years - with the first official mention found in official documents dating to about 845 AD.
It is one of the most important varieties used by white-wine producers in the Loire Valley - and its crystalline acidity and ability to age well has seen a boom in its popularity over the last 30 years.
It is a hugely-versatile grape that can be used to make wine in range of different styles. The refreshing mineral whites associated with the Loire are delicious and, when you compare them with the honey-sweet golden whites of the South African Stellenbosch, highly prized since the 17th century, you start to see the range of this lovely grape.
It also produces some spectacular dessert wines when allowed to develop a friendly fungus called Botrytis (noble rot), which concentrates the fruit’s sugars, producing flavours of baked apple and quince.
Pair crisper, oaked wines with fresh seafood and fish, soft goat’s cheese and summer vegetables. Pair sweeter whites with spiced meats (especially pork), a chicken liver parfait, or fresh summer fruits.
Chenin Blanc; 2010