Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape variety from the Loire Valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines. Outside the Loire it is found in most of the New World wine regions; it is the most widely planted variety in South Africa and may have been one of the first to be grown there, and was grown in South Australia by 1862.
The grape provides a fairly neutral palate for the expression of terroir, vintage variation and the winemaker's treatment. In cool areas the juice is sweet but high in acid with a full-bodied fruity palate.
The white wines of the Anjou AOC are perhaps the best expression of Chenin as a dry wine, with flavors of quince and apples. In nearby Vouvray AOC they aim for an off-dry style, developing honey and floral characteristics with age. In the best vintages the grapes can be left on the vines to develop noble rot, producing an intense, viscous dessert wine which may improve considerably with age.