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Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Incredibly dexterous, Chenin Blanc is capable of producing a wide range of styles from lusciously sweet to bone dry and sparkling to still. Indigenous to the Loire valley in France, some of the most popular sub regions include Savennières (exclusively dry), Vouvray, Montlouis, and Coteaux du Layon who's villages, Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux make, when the weather permits, some of the finest dessert wines. In it's new home, in South Africa, it has taken over as the most planted varietal accounting for nearly a fifth the area under vines in the whole country and double what is grown in France. It may not retain its wet wool and honeyed aroma but its naturally high acidity is a saving grace for the countries hot Mediterranean climate.
A country viewed by many as the home of fine wine, it is almost unique in terms of how embedded food and wine is in the nations culture. Given the diverse geography, with so much of the country providing the climate and soil suitable for viticulture, it is no surprise that its produces such an extensive and varied selection of wines. It is the country from where the vast majority of the New World's most popular "international" grapes and stylistic influences originate. While there might seem to be an alarming disparity between the most sought after wines (were a case might set you back as much as a deposit on a small house) and the millions of gallons of vin de table filling up the European wine lake every year, there is so much great value to be found between the two extremes. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhone may still dominate the market for fine wine, but regions including the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc & Roussillon and the South West are increasingly becoming excellent sources of good quality, affordable wines.
The Loire, often referred to as the 'garden of France', is a diverse though sometimes under-valued region. From west to east, its sub regions include; Muscadet, Anjou & Saumur, Chinon & Bourgueil, Vouvray, Touraine, Sancerre & Pouilly-Fume.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.