Home > Chenin Blanc, Grapes, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #68: Grape Trivia – Chenin Blanc

Weekly Wine Quiz #68: Grape Trivia – Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc grapes, as pictured in Wikipedia

Chenin Blanc grapes, as pictured in Wikipedia

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

Today we are continuing our grape trivia with the next white grape – Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is one of the oldest known grapes in the world, with the first mentions tracing back to 9th century in Loire in France. In about 17th century it made it to South Africa, where it became one of the most popular grapes, and it continued spreading around the world. In France, it is mostly growing in the Loire valley, with probably the best wines coming from Anjou and Vouvray regions.

According to wine expert Jancis Robinson, Chenin Blanc is probably one of the most versatile white grapes in the world. It has very high level of natural acidity, and also capable of accumulating very high level of sugars, making it equally suitable for production Sparkling wines and luscious dessert wines. At the time, Chenin Blanc requires a lot of attention in the vineyard, as it has a tendency to overgrow. If harvested too early, its high level of acidity makes the resulting wines simply insipid, and if it overgrows, the resulting wine tends to lose it character making dull and uninteresting wines.

Traditionally, the best Chenin Blanc wines were made in France, with off-dry Vouvray being probably some of the very best examples (if you ever experienced a “wow” Vouvray wine, raise you hand – I personally have, and at about $15/bottle, it doesn’t require you to break the bank). Overall, as winemaking techniques improve all over the world, there are more and more interesting Chenin Blanc wines coming from South Africa, California, Washington, Texas and many other places.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: True or false: South Africa grows (area -wise) twice as much Chenin Blanc as France

Q2: Do you know how Chenin Blanc is typically called in South Africa?

Q3: Based on DNA research, Chenin Blanc might be a parent of:

a. Pinot Blanc

b. Sauvignon Blanc

c. Marsanne

d. Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano)

Q4: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Chenin Blanc wines with Classic rating.

Q5: One of my all time favorite Chenin Blanc wines is made by the company called Field Recordings in California. It is a single-vineyard wine, coming from the vineyard which has the same name as one of the blockbuster movies of the 90s. Do you know how this vineyard is called?

Side note: Google is your friend. It is impossible to know everything, and when you research, you learn…

Good luck, have fun and cheers!

  1. Emil
    August 3, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Google all the way 🙂
    1. True
    2. Steen
    3. B
    4. False
    5. Jurassic Park

    • talkavino
      August 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      Excellent work! The answers are coming on Wednesday.

  2. August 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Amen to your side note and thumbs up to Google. Thanks for the learning opportunity! 🙂
    1. True, 2. Steen, 3. Sauvignon Blanc, 4. False, 5. Jurassic Park

    • talkavino
      August 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      great work and thanks for playing! There is a very good chance that you are correct : )

  3. August 3, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Without Googe and then I’ll check to see how wrong I am
    1. True. That’s most of what we get from SA and its a big place
    2. No idea
    3. I’m guessing Sauvignon Blanc because of the acidity
    4. False. I’m betting a Vouvray or a Cremant de Loire scored classic at some point
    5. No idea – Finding Nemo? There’s a distinctly crisp, almost saltiness to a Chenin Blanc

    Now, I’ll Google. Thanks.

    • talkavino
      August 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Great answers! I like “Finding Nemo” as a name for the vineyard : ) The answers are coming on Wednesday

  4. August 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Alright I’m giving this one a try.

    Q1 True
    Q2 Steen
    Q3 Sauvignon Blanc (B)
    Q4 I don’t know but I assume that it’s false.
    Q5 Jurassic Park

    • talkavino
      August 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Great work, Julian! Answers are coming on Wednesday.

  5. August 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more on Google. Google is my “research arm”.

    1. True
    2. Steen
    3. Sauvignon Blanc
    4. True
    5. Jurassic Park

    Salud!

    • talkavino
      August 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Excellent answers, Kirsten. Will see if you are correct on Wednesday : )

  6. August 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Another one of my wheel houses varieties!
    1. True
    2. Steen
    3. Sauvignon Blanc
    4. False. I am pretty sure that Huet has had some scores 95+ and Joly’s Clos de la Coulee de Serrant SHOULD have some (but not sure it has).
    5. Jurassic Park

    • talkavino
      August 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      Great work, Jeff. Clos de la Coulee de Serrant didn’t quite make it into the Classic range (94 points is the highest), but still : )

  7. August 3, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I am a huge fan of Vouvray!! Looking forward to reading the answers : ) I love learning all this new info.

    • talkavino
      August 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      great! The answers are coming on Wednesday.

  8. August 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I (like savorencyclopedia) love Vouvray. I was actually going to play along this week, but looks like you may already have a few winners. I look forward to reading the results and sipping some good chenin blanc.

    • talkavino
      August 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      There are never too many winners : ) But of course, there will be always the next quiz : )

  1. August 7, 2013 at 9:01 am
  2. August 31, 2013 at 8:38 am
  3. November 30, 2013 at 9:04 am
  4. June 28, 2014 at 9:19 am

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