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Proudly South African Chenin Blanc

The South African Grape and Wine Research Institute (SAGWRI) together with South Africa Wine and the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa (CBA) has launched an exciting new project focusing on the premiumization and economic viability of South African Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted cultivar in South Africa and there is much expertise in our industry for the making of high-quality wines from this cultivar.

A widespread media release by South Africa Wine on 19 March 2024 has put a spotlight on this project leading to great interest from readers across various fields. What makes the project unique is the use of a model Chenin Blanc vineyard planted with 19 different trellising systems which could generate scenarios ranging from very high to very low production. The collaborative effort between Stellenbosch University Vinpro to establish this vineyard and the generous financial input by Vinpro for this has made this project possible.

Prof Melané Vivier heads the team of academics involved in this project and has the following to say about this new exciting endeavor: “Adopting a market-centric approach, the project endeavours to tailor grape production and winemaking processes to align with consumer preferences and market demands. Integrated data analyses, economic evaluations, and demonstrated results will drive data-driven decision-making and foster industry-wide innovation. We are thrilled to embark on this collaborative journey to unlock the full potential of South African Chenin Blanc wines. By partnering with various industry stakeholders, we aim to drive sustainable growth and differentiation within the industry”.

Member from South Africa Wine and other stakeholders had an opportunity to visit the model vineyard site at Welgevallen with the project kick-off meeting held on 11 April 2024. We would like to acknowledge all the funders and stakeholders who are working together to make this project possible, especially South Africa Wine, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa (CBA).

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