A Perfect Picnic Wine

Summer is here and the parks and trails are open once again. It is time for a hike, picnic, and a glass of Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is the perfect picnic wine. Chenin Blanc is refreshing, light, and well-suited to the outdoors. It’s perfect with a sandwich, a cheese plate, and salads. And, it is inexpensive. One of our favorites is the Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc.

2018 Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc – Clarksburg

Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc
Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg AVA

Dry Creek Vineyard has been making a Chenin Blanc since the winery began in 1972. The grapes do not come from the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, but from the Clarksburg area in the Sacramento Delta. The area provides the ideal climate for Chenin Blanc grapes. The Dry Creek Chenin Blanc is 100% varietal and is fermented and aged in stainless steel, bringing out the lovely aromatic flavors of the grape.

This is a lively Chenin Blanc with many fragrant notes in both the aroma and taste. There is also some lemony characteristic. The wine is bright, refreshing, and savory. It is also low in alcohol at 13%. Now that makes for a good picnic wine. I purchased my Dry Valley Vineyard Chenin Blanc from KL Wines in Redwood City for $11.99. The Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa sells it for $10.99. At the winery’s online wine shop, it’s $16. 89 Points.

Loire Valley and Chenin Blanc

The Loire Valley provided the inspiration for David Stare’s Dry Creek Valley winery. In 1972, David Stare purchased his Dry Creek property with the goal of making wines like the ones in the Loire Valley. Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are the main grapes of the Loire. The area of Vouvray is all about Chenin Blanc grapes. Vouvray on the label means Chenin Blanc wine. Stop by your favorite wine shop and ask for the Vouvray section. You should have your choice of many Vouvray wines, from dry to sweet, and even some sparkling Vouvray. South Africa also makes delicious Chenin Blanc, but they’re more difficult to find in these parts.

Vouvray is Chenin Blanc
In the Loire, Vouvray is alway served in an ice bucket

California wineries making Chenin Blanc

  • Dry Creek Vineyard – $16 at the winery
  • Husch in the Anderson Valley – $15 at the winery
  • Chapellet in the Napa Valley – $38 at the winery
  • Ballentine in the Napa Valley – $32 at the winery
  • Sobon in Amador County – $22 at the winery

Interesting Wine Tasting Website

Wine Spencer – Virtual Wine Tasting Experiences – “Taking into account the current COVID-19 climate and the fight for racial justice while still wanting to share their knowledge and passion for wine, Wine Spencer has created an exclusive virtual format of offerings on their website to inspire wine lovers and wine novices to join the tasting experience from the comfort of their home.” Check it out!


  1. Wente made an outstanding Chenin Blanc years ago. As you mentioned this varietal is quite often overlooked. Perfect for spring and summer sipping. A solid change of pace from the traditional whites we see advertised.

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