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Choosing a white wine can be challenging when you are planning a menu or even when just ordering from a menu. But, whether the occasion is a family Christmas, summer’s picnic, a girl’s night in or out, sultry sundowners or a romantic dinner for two, the wine answer is Chenin Blanc.

“I am again impressed by the versatility of Chenin Blanc”, says Leopard’s Leap CEO, Hein Koegelenberg in response to the exceptional performance of Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc in recent major wine competitions. “Whether made in a more complex style with oak maturation or as an easy-drinking, fresher style of wine, Chenin Blanc is a great choice.”

The Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa explains the exceptional versatility of this reliable white wine variety: “Chenin Blanc in South Africa has extensive depth in terms of vineyards, terroir diversity and winemaking expertise. The grape’s exceptional versatility and the excellent selection of fruit available, due to the Cape Winelands’ wide terroir, provide for great variety of style. Winemaking techniques depend on the style of wine desired.”

The two main winemaking styles of Chenin Blanc are refreshing and fruity with a crisp acidity versus more complex and ripe barrel-fermented wines. The two different styles also contribute to the variety’s versatility. The refreshing style is easy-drinking and ideal for everyday enjoyment, with its fruitiness and crisp acidity making it a wonderful partner to salads, seafood and sushi. The more complex Chenin Blanc usually makes for an exceptional food wine that complements creaminess and spiciness in all its complexity – from Asian to Indian to Moroccan.

Both styles of Chenin Blanc from the Leopard’s Leap stable have recently performed exceptionally well. The more serious in style, 2016 Culinaria Chenin Blanc has been acknowledged as one of South Africa’s Top Ten Chenin Blancs in the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top Ten Challenge. Hot on its heels, the popular and value for money, 2018 Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc from the Classic range won the Chenin Blanc Trophy in the annual Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards!

In celebrating this wonderful achievement, we are sharing occasions and recipes for Chenin Blanc that will make it so much easier this summer when entertaining or plainly enjoying!

Try our recipes paired with Chenin Blanc – there is one for every occasion!

Festive gammon in a wine bath

Trout Quiche for a Perfect Picnic

Vietnamese-style Pork Belly Sosaties for a Summer Sunset

Coconut Cake for Book Club

Dinner date with stuffed chicken thighs and gnocchi

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