On the bottle neck




You know that feeling–when you are choosing a Chenin to go with the Thai curry you are having for supper? What does it taste like? Will it pair well? Worry no longer. The Chenin Blanc Association has a plan to grow Chenin’s popularity and accessibility with a simple new style indicator that will appear on wine bottles as an icon, either on the back label or as a sticker. The intention is to give Chenin shoppers a straightforward “what you see, is what you get” signal.


“Part of Chenin’s charm is its versatility,” explains Ken Forrester, a prime mover in establishing the CBA and the world-class reputation of local Chenins. “You can make absolutely delicious Chenins across the spectrum from bone-dry to lusciously sweet, from bright and breezy to layered and complex.


“That’s the good news. The not so good news is that Chenin can therefore sometimes be confusing to shoppers. How do they know what taste characteristics to expect from the bottle they pick off the shelf?

Easy scale


“To simplify selection, we’ve created a linear scale icon. It starts with Fresh at one end and Rich at the other, with Fruity positioned right in the middle. An arrow indicates where along the line the wine fits from a taste point of view.  “


The style indicator, that has been developed in collaboration with the South African Wine & Grape Research Institute at Stellenbosch University has been approved by the South African Wine Industry and Systems (SAWIS), the body that collates and interprets wine industry information and administers the industry’s Wine of Origin system.

On the vine


The new icon is being trialled by several large-scale, as well as smaller boutique producers. Some are linking it to a QR code to provide consumers with the option of additional aroma and flavour information.



Forrester says wines falling on the Fresh side of the scale icon will be refreshingly crisp and zesty.  Those at or near the Fruity point will show fruit and spice characters, while those at the Rich end of the spectrum will likely show some evidence of oaking, and notes of baked or dried fruit with buttery and vanilla tastes.


So there you have it–life just got a little simpler.