“Chenin revealer of Place”

The 2nd edition of the "Chenin Blanc International Congress", a unique world congress dedicated to the noble grape variety, Chenin...

The 2nd edition of the "Chenin Blanc International Congress", a unique world congress dedicated to the noble grape variety, Chenin Blanc, will take place from 1 to 3 November 2022 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

This second edition in the host city of Stellenbosch in South Africa, organized by the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa, on the theme “Chenin revealer of Place” follows the success of the 1st edition launched in France, in Angers in July 2019. An Event of Destination Angers, co-organized with the Chenin Academy in partnership with Interloire, the Anjou-Saumur Wine Federation, the Federation of Wine Associations of Indre et Loire and Sarthe, the University of Stellenbosch and Chenin Blanc Association SA. This first edition, under the aegis of the ISHS, brought together, during the three days of the congress on the theme "Chenin in a changing environment": 36 speakers, 314 participants of 13 nationalities from 5 continents, 600 m2 of exhibition & networking, 4 tours and, a unique and exceptional tasting of 349 “Cuvées de chenin” from around the world.

The 2nd edition of this professional congress is part of the DNA of the 1st edition: for three days, researchers, winegrowers, wine producers, wine tourism professionals, wine critics, sommeliers, sales representatives and influencers from around the world will explore, learn, taste and debate while enjoying Chenin Blanc in all its forms.

On the program of this 2nd interactive and multidisciplinary edition, delegates will have the opportunity to attend presentations of the latest advances in research, participate in wine tastings presented by professionals, visit vineyards and savour the local gastronomy. All this in a culturally varied context and in the heart of a breath-taking landscape.

The partners of this new edition of the International Chenin Blanc Congress bring together experts and stakeholders from South Africa's wine regions – winemakers, scientists, academics, traders, critics, wine tourism experts and sommeliers – with their counterparts from France, Australia, California, India and Israel, among others. This congress will provide a platform for discussion and debate, exploration and learning and, finally, discovery of the unique expressions of Chenin Blanc from around the world. Among them are delegations from the Loire Valley, ancestral land of Chenin Blanc.


Social media:
Facebook: Chenin Blanc International Congress
Instagram: @chenincongress
LinkedIN: Chenin Blanc International Congress 
Twitter: @chenincongress

Press contacts:
  • Event/Brand "Chenin Blanc International Congress"
Valérie Mathieu-Fichot - Destination Angers
valerie.fichot@destination-angers.com – Tel +
  • Organizer 2nd edition "Chenin Blanc International Congress" 2022 in Stellenbosch
Ina Smith – Chenin Blanc Association – www.chenin.co.za
ina.smith@iafrica.com – Tel +27 82 467 4331

Evelyne de Pontbriand and Ken Forrester 


Ken Forrester
Chairman, Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa

Chenin Blanc is special we all know that! But what makes it so? Without doubt we can certainly agree that Chenin Blanc has so many nuances - depending on exactly where it is grown and so we come to realize, with some certainty that chenin Blanc is quite easily the very best “translator of terroir.” That fact that the translation can be so subtle like a beautiful piece of music written for piano and sensitively transposed for violin, it’s exactly in this way that chenin Blanc takes on the nuances of unique flavours and tells us about where it is planted.

Taste the steely, minerality of Savennières or the rich almost honey and apple character of Vouvray, the crushed and baked apple of Stellenbosch and the almost waxy mineral purity of Swartland, and hundreds of variants in different soils and climate and elevation that occur in between!

This is the true complexity of chenin which makes it so special, so unique, as well as the incredible potential for ageability.

One could say that chenin has the ability to speak a language - not just fluently, but in all the accents and dialects of that language - from North to South and East to West. Could we call it the “linguistic grape”?

Evelyne de Pontbriand
President, Académie du Chenin, President congress CBIC2019
Domaine du Closel Savennières France

L'Académie du Chenin is particularly pleased to support this second International Chenin Congress which will take place in Stellenbosch, South Africa, a land conquered by the chenin B.since 1652. It has been 370 years since chenin cuttings arrived with Jan Van Riebeeck, commander of the Cape of Good Hope, who had to set up a feeding station for the sailors of the Oost Indiese Company and the VOC (Dutch East India Company). Jan Van Ruebeeck turned to France for vine supplies.

A free trade agreement in 1597 had abolished taxes on the movement of freight and shipping on the Loire, which attracted the interest of Dutch merchants. Another attractive aspect for them was the fact that the middle Loire region was strongly Protestant. In the 1650s to 1680s, the Dutch settled along the river and dominated the river traffic and they particularly appreciated the sweetness of the wines of the coteaux de Loire, du Layon, and de Saumur, at a time when white wines were generally very acidic and sugar a rare luxury food. Some of these dutch settled locally and became wine merchants, even exporting to the rest of Europe. We can assume that the VOC called upon its fellow countrymen from the Loire to provide it with vine cuttings.

Centuries have passed and South Africa with its 19000 ha of chenin is a major player in the production of wines from this variety.

The climate and problems of the vineyards of the Loire and South Africa are sometimes dissimilar and this congress will highlight these different views on rootstocks, disease resistance, yeasts, winemaking practices but also the tastes of consumers, the expression of the place and the world markets. Finally, we will discover another culture, other landscapes, another gastronomy, a welcome in magnificent properties with an exceptional wine tourism.


Pictures: SUPPLIED

©2022 Herman Lintvelt - WineTourismZA 

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