For more than 20 years, Pine Ridge Vineyards has produced a white wine blend containing Chenin Blanc—a crisp white variety that originated in France’s Loire Valley. Our winemaking team has created a very limited-production lot to showcase this elegant variety, grown in the Clarksburg appellation, home to California’s premier Chenin Blanc grapes.
Chenin Blanc offers enticing aromas of honeysuckle, cantaloupe,
citrus, and honey and a hint of cinnamon from the new French oak. This is a bone-dry
wine showing flavors of melon, pear, lemongrass, and Meyer lemon curd and echoes
of the honey aroma. The mouthfeel is viscous, a result of weekly lees stirring, and the
wine finishes with a bright acidic kick. The clean, refreshing finish makes this a perfect
sipping wine and also a versatile wine to pair with food.
Chenin Blanc grapes have high acidity and need plenty of sun to ripen
and produce delicious fruit flavors. Cool Delta breezes and warm summer days in
Clarksburg contribute to a long, dry growing season with a slow and even rate of fruit
maturity, leading to an optimal balance of sugar and acid and an outstanding intensity
of fruit flavors.
The 2015 vintage experienced continuing drought
conditions, with no rainfall in January. Most of the growing season was characterized
by warm, dry days combined with cool nights. A reduced berry set and small clusters
provided good-quality grapes. Our Chenin Blanc was harvested about a week earlier
than normal and was fermented in 50 percent new French oak. Stirring occurred
weekly, and the wine was aged in barrel for eight months.
Food Pairing Notes
and bright, this Chenin Blanc would pair wonderfully with a
variety of seafood dishes, such as crab, scallops in a butter chive sauce, or halibut with
ratatouille. Try it also with grilled lemongrass chicken, a salad of farro with spring peas
and watercress, or even roasted-carrot hummus with toasted pita bread. For a cheese
course, select soft, creamy cheeses like triple crème brie, herb-crusted goat cheese, or