Stellenbosch, South Africa
Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc is the perfect white wine for spring and summer, a new wine gem from Ken Forrester Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Scholtzenhof is one of the oldest vineyards in the Cape, granted as Zandberg in 1689, just ten years after Stellenbosch was founded. In 1994 Ken Forrester purchased the estate at an auction and produced his first vintage. Today Ken Forrester and Martin Meinert work together to make the wines along with a viticultural team at Scholtzenhof. Ken has been at the vanguard of the recent trend in South Africa to take Chenin very seriously and has proven that Chenin Blanc from South Africa is a world-class wine. Ken Forrester wines are so exceptional that they were chosen for the celebratory dinner for Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday party.
We were fortunate to visit Ken Forrester Vineyards in April 2009 to taste their new wines and admire the winery’s magnificent setting. Located on the outskirts of the historic village of Stellenbosch, in the lee of the Helderberg Mountain just 4 miles from the cool Atlantic Ocean, the winery’s philosophy is to cultivate its wines in harmony with nature and its community. Ken Forrester’s hope and vision is to improve the lot of his region’s labor force by growing his business and training incessantly. In farming the land sustainably, with absolutely no herbicides or pesticides, the winery also creates capacity to employ more people in a job market that is desperate for support.
Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc is pale yellow-green in color with a refreshing nose of lime, green apple and floral notes. It is fresh and bright with round fruity flavors of apples, citrus and chamomile. Made of 100% Chenin Blanc from 30-year-old vines, the wine was harvested by hand, fermented cool in stainless steel tanks and bottled early to show the freshest fruit flavors of the varietal. It is clean and satisfying on the finish.
Enjoy Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc over the next 3-4 years with grilled chicken, baked swordfish, shrimp, fruit salad and cheeses.