A New York Times article about the resurgence of chenin blanc among American winemakers and winelovers cited Paumanok Vineyards as leading the way on Long Island.
The Gray Lady states that the Aquebogue winery, which is the only Long Island vineyard currently growing chenin blanc, now has nine acres devoted to the white grape, which originates in central France’s Loire Valley.
“Because of its great acidity, chenin blanc is a grape able to make wines bone dry or unctuously sweet yet fresh, with an entire spectrum in between,” wrote Times wine writer Eric Asimov. “It has the ability to transparently display its place of origin, to age for decades and to tantalize not just with complex aromas and flavors, but with a seemingly paradoxical texture that can be thick, yet delicate, rich yet light.”
The Times also wrote about how Paumanok owner Charles Massoud began making the wine quite by accident.
“When he bought a vineyard adjacent to his own containing three acres of chenin blanc in 1989, he planned to rip it out. But he didn’t get around to it before the next growing season and ended up making a little wine, which he liked,” Asimov wrote.
Paumanok now makes two versions of chenin blanc. The Times described the regular version, which sells for $25, as “fresh and exuberant with a savory maritime edge to it, but fairly simple.” The article goes on to praise Paumanok’s small lot of experimental minimalist chenin blanc as “more interesting,” citing their 2014 as having “a noticeably richer texture and livelier acidity, with flavors of honey, lemon and straw.”
According to the Times, more and more California winemakers are beginning to make chenin blanc to fill the growing demand.
Why not pick up a bottle of the only Long Island chenin blanc out there, now available at Paumanok Vineyards.