The Chenin Blanc grape is made in bone dry, off dry, and sweet wines. Chenin Blanc retains its quality in climates that are too hot for most Vitis vinifera varietals. Soil type, soil slope, sun exposure, and humidity are some of the factors that determine the grape’s characteristics. The Chenin Blanc grape also has an affinity for clay loam and sandy loam soils.
After years of obscurity, California Chenin Blanc is beginning to hit its stride. Before the 1950s, the Chenin Blanc was known as White Pinot in California. Robert Mondavi correctly identified the grape.
Chenin Blanc wine has been made in Europe since the Middle Ages. The varietal is at its best in Anjou, Touraine, Vouvray, Saumur, and Saviennieres. It is grown near the moderating influence of the Loire River in these regions. Much of the Chenin Blanc grape production in Europe is distilled into brandy.