The Chenin Blanc Association hosts a tasting of its top members’ wines twice a year, to match the summer or winter season. Last week a tasting of 25 top Chenin Blancs was followed by a summery Italian-inspired lunch with a view onto Table Mountain at Meloncino in the V & A Waterfront.
The tasting of the 25 Chenin Blancs was divided into five groups of five wines, and was led by Jeff Grier of Villiera, a gentle good off-the-cuff speaker, being so good with his notes that he often knew more about the wines than was shared by the winemakers. Jeff stood in for Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association, who spends a lot of his time marketing his wines in the USA. What makes these events great is that writers can meet a number of the winemakers at the table, getting to know them a little better, the Simonsig (Hannes Meyer), Ayama (Liezel Delport), and Rijk’s (Pieter Waal) representatives sitting Continue reading →
The inaugural Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge winners were announced yesterday at a cosy function on a wet Winelands day at the ever smart Delaire Graff. The function and competition, combined with the recent three-year sponsorship by Standard Bank of the Chenin Blanc Challenge, are giving Chenin Blanc the recognition it deserves, said Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association. ‘Chenin Blanc is a wine whose time has come’, he said, adding that ‘Chenin Blanc is THE white wine of South Africa‘!
A total of 126 wines was entered for the Challenge, and assessed blind by a panel of judges which included chairman Christian Eedes, Jamie Goode, Alan Mullins, Carrie Adams, and Higgo Jacobs. Interviews were conducted with the judges, Allan Mullins of Woolworths saying that Chenin Blanc has been underrated for so long. He lauded Standard Bank for the support of the competition, and as Chenin Blanc drinks so well, it should be drunk by all. It is a gem of a wine variety, and ranges in price between R25 – R 300 in retail outlets. British wine writer Jamie Goode said that our country has a variety of Chenin Blanc styles, ‘ranging from the ‘VW Beetle to a ‘Rolls Royce’! Eedes said that he was honoured to chair the judging panel, and while he may be ‘shot down‘ for the results, having the auditors made the results indisputable. Out of the wine Continue reading →
Yesterday we attended the Chenin Blanc Winter Showcase, held at Delaire Graff, at which 22 Chenin Blanc wines were presented for tasting. The feedback was that Chenin Blanc is ‘flying‘, and the recent announcement that Standard Bank is sponsoring the Association has added a lot of confidence for both the producers and even drinkers of Chenin Blanc. It was commented that the Chenin Blanc Association is the leader relative to other varietal associations in our country. Chenin Blanc is not only the largest wine cultivar in South Africa, but also is the ‘most dynamic wine category’ in South Africa, said Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association.
Standard Bank was visible through its branding on banners, pens, note pads, and tasting note sheets. CEO Ben Kruger, head of Business Banking in the Western Cape Willie du Plessis, and Western Cape marketing executive Ntombi Kulati attended too. The total value of the sponsorship is R1,2 million over a three year period, starting at R300000 this year, and growing by R100000 each year. The contract contains an option to renew the sponsorship. The marketing muscle of the bank was seen as the major benefit for the Association’s winemakers, whose brands are likely to receive far more visibility in future. The sponsorship also contains prize monies for an annual Chenin Blanc competition, the top ten Chenin Blanc winemakers being rewarded with a R20000 prize each, which is to go to the development of their staff. Continue reading →