Chenin Blanc, McLaren Vale

Chenin Blanc is an important white grape variety planted in the Anjou-Saumur and Touraine regions of the Loire Valley. In Australia, it is popular in Western Australia especially within the Swan Valley and Peel regions near Perth. Where they produce beautiful floral, tropical aromas, that are designed to drink young and fresh.

Its home in France is the Loire, where outstanding dry, sweet and sparkling wines are produced. The famous wines of Vouvray, Savenniéres, Samour and Coteaux du Layon are all made from Chenin Blanc. The best Loire Chenin Blancs have concentrated rich, honeyed fruit, together with refreshingly vibrant acidity.

Called Steen in South Africa, it is the most widely planted variety. The best examples come from Stellenbosch where it can also be oak aged to create a full-bodied style. The best producers keep their yields down, producing impressive wines. Chenin Blanc is also used as a cheap blending option with Chardonnay, Colombard, and Muscat.
The McLaren Vale wine region is located less than an hours drive south of Adelaide, straight down the picturesque coastline.

Shiraz is by far the most widely planted variety, and the most important variety for the region, accounting for about 50% of the total crush. Every winery in the region will likely be producing at least one or more Shiraz wines, and with the wide range of unique terroirs available, each influenced by the maritime climate in unique ways, each Shiraz will have its own regional nuances.

Shiraz produced in McLaren Vale will often exhibit chocolate and coffee notes, with a little less pepper than those from Barossa Valley, and are often blended with Grenache. Other red varieties grown include Cabernet Sauvignon (and Merlot blends) Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Zinfandel. The main white variety would be Chardonnay, however Sémillon and it's common blending partner Sauvignon Blanc are made, alongside lesser amounts of Riesling, Pronto Bianco, Vermentino and Fiano.

If you plan to visit McLaren Vale there are over 65 cellar doors so you'll be spoiled for choice, ranging from the small-boutique wineries to very large wineries. The drive from McLaren Vale up to the Barossa Valley is very scenic, passing over the rolling Adelaide Hills, and though the quaint German-settled town of Hahndorf.
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  1. Coriole Chenin Blanc 2020
    It is a classic, traditional Coriole Chenin with a delicate filigree of autumnal fruits and spring florals. The nose displays red apple and pear, crisp white peach, honeysuckle, jasmine and quince flower and a hint of Leatherwood honey. A pleasant ... Learn More
  2. Aphelion Pir Chenin Blanc 2020
    Rob works his magic on the pristine fruit from exquisite 50 year old Blewitt Springs vines. Pir Chenin Blanc 2020 shows unctuous texture, complex layered flavours and supreme food friendliness thanks to Rob's restrained, clever winemaking. White peach, red apple and flint ... Learn More
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    Stuart Knox
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