(Vintage 2016, White) Country: South Africa  Region: Western Cape   Grape: Chenin Blanc

Paarl (pearl in Dutch) is a wine-producing district in the Western Cape centered around the town of the same name, located 37 miles northeast of Cape Town and north of Stellenbosch, another important wine region. Paarl is home to some of South Africa’s best-known wine estates. The warm climate has a Mediterranean influence, offering three different soil types. Backsberg has about 271 acres of vineyards. With its wonderful climate, full sunny summer days and cold wet winter days, it’s a great location for growing grapes. Backsberg has become the first wine producer in South Africa (only one of three worldwide) to gain Carbon Neutral status by sequestrating its carbon emissions.

Chenin Blanc grapes, the most widely planted white wine grape in the country, accounts for nearly one-fifth of all vineyard plantings, and is the sole ingredient in this wine selection. Appearing straw yellow with green tints in the glass, it is an elegant, clean, natural wine. On the nose it shows pear, green apple and cashews; while on the palate, the ripe fruit is tempered by finely balanced acidity, giving it a mouth-filling, yet refreshing palate, and a lingering finish.

Enjoy it (chilled) with your meal tonight if serving lobster, braised chicken, sushi or any Oriental dishes. You would be hardpressed to find another wine that would be a better aperitif.

Backsberg Estate Cellars Chenin Blanc:

CHENIN BLANC GRAPES (also known as Pineau de la Loire in some areas)An ancient grape, Chenin Blanc can be traced back to 845 AD. With good acidity level, thin skin and high natural sugar content, it is very suitable for sparkling, sweet and dry wines of fine character. Now it is successfully grown in Washington State, but for years has accounted for roughly one-fifth of all vineyard plantings in South Africa!

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Tracie Burket
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