About the Chenin Blanc Wine in Europe

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Chenin Blanc wine has historically been made in the Loire Valley of France. This northern region is on the border of uninhabitable terrain for the grape. Any colder and wines will be thin and overly acidic. Even in the Loire Valley, cold and damp years produces Chenin Blanc that lacks balance from too much acidity.

Saumur and Savennieres are made in dry styles. These wines go extremely well with the sea-food and shellfish that are so abundant in the kitchens of the Loire. Most of these wines are light-bodied with a refined and delicate profile.

During the 1980s, great strides were made in the quality level of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc. This was a great decade for the French wine industry in general. A series of economically successful vintages gave French vintners the capital to improve their products.

However, the valley’s many rivers, tributaries and different soil types contribute to inconsistent ripening throughout the region. For this reason, the process of harvesting is long and critical. This is often done on a grape-by-grape basis that is extremely labor intensive.

About the Chenin Blanc Wine in Europe

Some outstanding sweet wines are made with grapes infected with “noble rot” in the Loire Valley. Vineyards in Saumur and Anjou are the most prone to botrytis cinerea infections. Coteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume also produces great botrytis wines.

Vouvray is made in an off-dry style. These wines have fresh, straight-forward characteristics. Barrel aging and malolactic fermentation are not common in Vouvray.