Saturday 15 June 2019 is #DrinkChenin Day and Creation, along with fellow members of the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa, look forward to celebrating this signature cultivar in style. Click here to find out more.
The fascinating history of Chenin can be traced back to the Anjou region of France where it is believed to have originated way back in the 9th Century. It is also believed that the variety was then known as ‘Chenere’ and that it was only renamed ‘Chenin Blanc’ in the 15th Century when it arrived in the Loire Valley.
When the cultivar arrived in South Africa in the mid-17th Century, the local winemakers called it ‘Fransdruif’ and/or ‘Steen’ until finally, in the early 1960s, Professor C.J. Orffer (Head of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University at the time) confirmed that it was indeed Chenin Blanc. Even so, Chenin remained a bit of a workhorse throughout most of the 20th Century: widely planted, often over-produced and in many instances relegated to ‘stookwyn’ for the production of brandy.
Fast-forward to 2000: the Chenin Blanc Association (CBA) of South Africa is established, setting out to prove the amazing potential of the cultivar and to ensure that South African Chenin Blanc takes its rightful place with the other great white wines of the world. Improvements in the vineyards and the cellar followed with more and more producers selecting Chenin as their flagship wine.
Always exploring new avenues, the Creation team took on the challenge of launching the estate’s maiden Chenin in 2017 – the first to be grown and made in the Hemel-en-Aarde and a cool-climate example of note. Due to the popularity of the wine, a 2018 vintage followed, grown in the same unique 1-hectare, virus-free, now 16-year-old vineyard block in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde area. To capture and enhance the rare essence of the terroir the grapes were gently pressed and meticulously vinified in 228-litre oak barrels, spending eight months on the lees.
The 2018 Creation Cool-Climate Chenin displays the most delicate shade of wild primrose with tinges of lime playing hide-and-seek in the glass. A bouquet of gentle ginger, tender tomato leaf, apple skin and honeycomb casts the first spell. On the palate the magic unfolds with crisp quince and fresh green apple flirting with the smoothness of coconut milk in the background. It is a wine that is as remarkable in its purity as it is in its joyous complexity. This complexity makes it the perfect partner for a wide variety of dishes. In celebration of 2019 #DrinkChenin Day, the Creation Culinary Team takes pleasure in sharing their recipe for the scrumptious Pork Belly with Sautéed Spring Onion and Leek, King Oyster Snow, Charred Orange, Wonton Crisp, Citrus Beurre Blanc and Chervil. Click here for the recipe.
Due to the small production, there are only a limited number of cases of the 2018 Creation Cool-Climate Chenin Blanc left. To secure your allocation, click here.