Efforts to seek out and preserve old-vine Chenin Blanc are currently reaping rewards for South Africa’s winemakers. Tim Atkin MW finds out how one of the country’s oldest varieties has become its newest source of world-class wines...

The Cape winelands is one of the most beautiful vineyard regions in the world, all craggy peaks, sweeping vistas and cobalt blue skies.

By these dramatic, almost cinematic standards, the Mev (Mrs) Kirsten vineyard is something of a disappointment. Situated in the Jonkershoek Valley, close to the untidy urban sprawl of Stellenbosch, it has none of the grandeur of some of South Africa’s greatest crus.

And yet this 0.7ha parcel of Chenin Blanc is undeniably special, a distinction that’s reflected in its historical importance as well as the quality of its wine.


Scroll down to see Tim’s pick of the best South African old vine Chenin Blanc


 


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