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There’s documented proof that chenin blanc was one of the three varieties first planted in the young Cape colony by Commander Jan Van Riebeeck in 1655. Widely regarded as the workhorse of the Cape’s wine industry – it was and still is used to make sparkling wines, still wines, sweet and fortified wines, base wines for distilling, and is the go-to grape for some of the country’s biggest brands. Very few, however, ever believed it could make really good and interesting wines. All that changed in 2000, with the launch of The FMC from Ken Forrester Wines. The FMC challenged South African winemakers’ perceptions and, along with the discovery of old chenin vineyards, revolutionised the variety’s role.