Chenin blanc, Pineau de la Loire, Steen is from the Loire valley of France. In cool areas the juice is sweet but high in acid with a full-bodied fruity palate. In the unreliable summers of northern France, the acidity of under ripened grapes was often masked with chaptalization with unsatisfactory results, whereas now the less ripe grapes are made into popular sparkling wines such as Crémant de Loire. The white wines of the Anjou AOC are perhaps the best expression of Chenin as a dry wine, with flavours of quince and apples. In nearby Vouvray AOC they aim for an off-dry style, developing honey and floral characteristics.
South Africa is the most well known wine producing country outside of France using the Chenin Blanc (Steen) variety. Made mostly in a dry style, South African Chenin offers many rich, complex wines often with superb, mineral tension and unrivalled texture for the price!