International Drink Chenin Day Date in the current year: June 8, 2024

International Drink Chenin Day International Drink Chenin Day, also known as International Drink Chenin Blanc Day or simply Drink Chenin Day, is celebrated annually on the second weekend of June. It was created to celebrate a white wine grape variety that originated in France but is most widely associated with the South African wine industry.

Chenin blanc, historically known as Steen in South Africa, is one of the world’s oldest grape varieties; it is believed to have originated in the Anjou region sometime in the 9th century. Originally referred to as “plant d’Anjou” in the royal land grants of King Charles the Bald, it was renamed Chenin blanc after a site known as Mont Chenin in Touraine in the 15th century.

Chenin blanc made its way to South Africa in the 17th century. According to one account, Chenin blanc vines were brought to the Cape of Good Hope by Dutch colonial administrator Jan van Riebeeck in 1655. Another theory claims that Chenin was brought to South Africa about three decades later by Huguenots fleeing France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV. Sometime in the 19th century, Chenin blanc was introduced from South Africa to Australia.

Today, Chenin blanc is planted in many wine regions across the globe, but only a few countries have significant plantings of Chenin. It is the most widely planted grape variety in South Africa; other countries with notable plantings of Chenin blanc include its native France, the United States (primarily California), and Australia.

Varietal Chenin wines tend to have high acidity, but their flavor profile can vary greatly depending on the climate, winemaking techniques, and other factors. Chenin can be used to make dry, semi-dry and dessert wines, sparkling wines, and even botrytized wines (particularly fine dessert wines made from grapes affected by noble rot). Due to the wide range of wine styles that can be produced from Chenin blanc, Chenin wines are very versatile when it comes to pairing them with food.

The inaugural Drink Chenin Day was celebrated in the United States in 2014. Various events promoting Chenin wines were held in New York and ten other cities across the country. Two years later, the Drink Chenin Day campaign came to South Africa, where it was supported by the Chenin Blanc Association and Wines of South Africa, an industry organization that promotes South African wines in major international markets.

The birthplace of Chenin blanc – the Loire Valley wine region of France – joined the celebration in 2017, and wine producers from Swan Valley, Western Australia, followed suit in 2019. It was that year that Drink Chenin Day became a truly international celebration of the most planted grape variety in South Africa.

The best way to celebrate International Drink Chenin Day is, of course, to drink Chenin blanc! You can go out to your favorite wine bar or restaurant that serves South African wines, buy a bottle of Chenin and share it with a friend, or attend a Chenin blanc tasting event if there is one near you. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #DrinkChenin and #DrinkCheninDay.

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