Like its fellow Loire grape sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc flourishes in our climate. In my youth as a winemaker, most chenin blanc was used as a high acid blending variety for cask wine. Some makers understood its strengths and treated it properly. For the few passionate chenin blanc winemakers in New Zealand, it can be a rewarding varietal and produce very serious, elegant and ageworthy wine.
The Astrolabe Wrekin Chenin Blanc is made from grapes grown on a loess clay slope. We hand pick the grapes to give a delicacy to the phenolics. The chenin blanc is partially barrel fermented with wild yeast for complexity, with the remainder in stainless steel to preserve the fruit flavours. All fruit is free-run to retain purity. I love the chenin grape because of its distinct flavour profile, the crisp acidity and the ability of the wine to age with interest and grace.
Simon Waghorn — Winemaker