Country of origin: France
Berry color: Yellow-green
Common synonyms: Chenin, Pineau de la Loire, Pineau d'Anjou, Steen
Comments: The TTB-approved prime name is Chenin blanc
Chenin blanc is an old variety from Anjou, France, known to have been growing there since 845 AD and then spreading to neighboring areas. It is a leading variety of the middle Loire region where it is used to produce dry and natural sweet table wines as well as sparkling wines. It did not emerge in California until after World War II when some North Coast wineries acquired vines from the collection at UC Davis for premium table wine production. Acreage expanded rapidly in the 1970s, peaked in the early 1980s, and has since declined. Now it is mostly grown in moderately warm coastal valleys, the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta, and the San Joaquin Valley for the production of table and sparkling wines.
Leaf removal from the cluster region after veraison may reduce bunch rot potential. Cluster exposure may be facilitated with vertical-shoot-positioned systems when using single and divided canopy systems.
Three- or four-year-old vines tend to over-produce; shoot and cluster thinning at this age is often needed. Shoots adhere firmly and are not easily blown off by high winds in the spring, a reason for this variety’s popularity in South Africa. Chenin blanc has moderately good acid level, attaining its best balance of sugar and acid in the cool to moderately warm growing regions.
|People||L. Peter Christensen|
Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis is the source of Foundation grapevine material for the nursery industry, and the staff can provide information about possible sources for obtaining this stock.
The National Grape Registry (NGR) contains information about varieties of wine, juice, and table grapes, raisins, and grape rootstocks available in the United States. Growers, nurseries, winemakers and researchers can find background information and source contacts for those grape varieties in this single convenient location.
|Publications||Christensen, L. 2003. Chenin blanc (PDF). Pages 50-53 in: Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3419, Oakland, CA. Buy book|