About the California Chenin Blanc

Elvis Elvis

California Chenin Blanc varies widely in quality. If foliage is not kept in check, wines will be thin and overly acidic. Growers use certain rootstocks as well as cover crops between vineyard rows to keep yields down.

Unfortunately, most California Chenin Blanc is grown in undesirable parts of the Central Valley and disappears into bulk blends. Not surpisingly, quite a few of the vineyards that were grown in the worst locations have been uprooted over the past decade.

In California, the grape is often fermented at lower temperatures than in Loire Valley. These lower temperatures cause the tropical fruit aromas and flavors that the best California examples are known for. Skin contact, lees stirring and oak treatment are also more common in the Golden State than in Europe.

Consumers seem to like these New World innovations and some Loire producers are slowly adopting these techniques. The current international market seems to prefer Chenin Blanc that is less acidic and more fruit-forward. Several California producers excel at this style.

About the California Chenin Blanc

Bogle Winery

Located in the Clarksburg AVA, Bogle Winery makes excellent Chenin Blanc. Clarksburg is adjacent to Lodi east of the San Francisco Bay. The region’s sandy-clay soils and sunny days make it the most consistent region for the grape in California.