GP Chenin Blanc Story

The Grande Provence Amphora 2016

There something to be said about following in the footsteps of ancient Greek and Roman winemakers who embraced this “technology” thousands of years ago, using clay hewn out of the earth to cradle and nurture a living liquid. The Amphorae are imported from Manetti Gusmano and Figli in Florence, Italy, with seven generations of experience in crafting their superb vessels. Grande Provence was one of the first South African producers to make wine from these handmade Amphorae brought in from Italy. The amphorae are crafted from the same clay used to make Terracotta. The specific characteristics of this clay make it unique and allow for the correct amount of porosity that is required for wine to breathe and develop.

The Grande Provence Amphora is made from skin fermented Chenin Blanc grapes from an old vineyard block planted in 1982. The vines are 35 years old this year which make them eligible to be called “Old Vines”. The dryland vines grow in decomposed sandstone soils on the lower slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains and are unirrigated. These old vines produce small compact bunches with intense flavour and great acidity. The grapes are destemmed directly into the clay Amphorae and are naturally fermented on the skins without any additives. The wine is left in the vessel for several months and allowed to stabilise and clarify naturally as the grape skins sink to the bottom after fermentation. The tannins in the skin and seeds help protect the wine from oxidation. The natural antibacterial action of the clay and tannins help keep the wine healthy during this period, as the wine remains un-sulphured.

The result is a unique, textural and complex expression of Chenin Blanc that exudes a mixture of earthy spice, citrus and peach. The wine has a structural texture that is deserving of food and intrigues over time as layer upon layer unfolds on the palate.

Grande Provence Chenin Blanc 2017

Gold - Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 29 May 2018

The Chenin Blanc 2017 is one of the most recently released new Grande Provence wines with fruit sourced mainly from Helderberg vineyards and a small percentage from Franschhoek slopes. This vibrantly fruit driven Chenin Blanc is elegant and dry with flavours of stone fruit and hints of tropical notes.  It expresses balance of fruit and freshness combined with structure and minerality. It is one of the first wines made by recently appointed Winemaker, Hagen Viljoen, who believes in the versatility and vibrancy of Chenin Blanc fruit. He explains that freshness, elegance and hints of complexity are key elements to strive for in quality Chenin Blanc winemaking. These are all the ingredients that make for a Gold award which has been announced at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show on 29 May 2018. This Chenin Blanc has also just been selected in British Airways First Class lounges at South African airports. 

Drink Chenin Blanc Day – 15 June 2018

The Chenin Blanc Association has declared 15 June National Chenin Blanc Day, a date set every year to highlight the very appealing and diverse flavour attributes and profiles of South African Chenin Blancs as well as to create awareness for Chenin Blanc as an exciting white wine of choice.

The Grande Provence Tasting Room invites you to come and taste the newly released and Gold awarded 2017 Grande Provence Chenin Blanc 2017 on Drink Chenin Blanc Day on 15 June.