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Jancis Robinson Gives Praise to Our South African Producers
September 15, 2022

Some of Noble Estates' "Chenin Champions" mentioned by Jancis in her article on South African Chenin Blanc:

David & Nadia


Ken Forrester

"But over the last 20 years there has been a revolution in how Chenin is perceived in South Africa. Wine producer Ken Forrester played a major part in that. When he bought an established wine farm in Stellenbosch in 1993 he, unusually, refused to rip out the Chenin and has been nurturing the reputation of South African Chenin ever since.

‘I certainly had no idea of how Chenin could and would go on to rewrite the playbook for South Africa’, he said in an email when I quizzed him about the recent history of Cape Chenin. ‘I’m so thrilled to see all the brilliant wines and to meet the next generations of young winemakers who simply seem to take Chenin for granted. They don’t know that the market wasn’t interested in Chenin. They never heard my neighbour back in the late 1990s who not so jokingly said to me, “if you think you can afford to use French oak on Chenin, you’ll have to use your return ticket and go back to Johannesburg!” It seems these younger guys and gals simply assume it’s always been the go-to grape for excellence. It’s truly a modern-day fairy tale come true!’

Forrester helped found South Africa’s Chenin Blanc Association in 2000 and three years later ensured South Africa’s participation in the Rendezvous du Chenin wine competition in France, at the Abbey of Fontevraud in the Loire."