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Session VI - Taste, tastes of Chenin blanc wines

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Gabriel Lepousez

Dr. Hélène Nieuwoudt

David Biraud

Pascal Poupault

Engineer in Oenology, Pascal Poupault works at the IFV in the Val de Loire region. He carries out several missions including research for the improvement of aromas of white wines.

David Biraud, is a French sommelier. He became the best sommelier in France in 2002 and won the title of best worker of France in sommellerie in 2004. He has been working at the Mandarin Oriental in Paris since 2011.

Gabriel Lepousez is a neurobiologist specialized in sensory perception and brain plasticity.
He studied molecular biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, is an associate professor of Biology, received a Ph.D. from Neuroscience from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, and is currently research fellow at the Institut Pasteur, in the Perception and Memory laboratory.

Working alongside: 

 Dr Astrid Buica, Dr. Jeanne Brand, Dr.Valeria Panzeri, Dominique Valentin and Vanessa Godfrin

The Speakers

Hélène Nieuwoudt is a senior researcher at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and conducted research on Chenin Blanc for the past 9 years. Over the years,  10 postgraduate students have been working in our group, and we investigated chemical, sensory and consumer aspects.  She kept very close contact with the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa and aligned projects with industry needs. During a recent visit to the Loire Valley she realised that Chenin producers worldwide have one common connecting theme; that is to work together to help Chenin reach its full potential. "By sharing information, practical experience and insights gained, we can contribute to not only manage the challenges facing Chenin, but also take another look at under-utilised opportunities and turn them around for the better."

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Hanneke Botha

With a keen interest in all that smells and tastes good, Hanneke was reeled in by the world of wine at a young age. Hanneke finished her undergraduate degree in Winemaking at Stellenbosch University, after which she did the Master Vinifera in Montpellier. What attracted her most of making wine at first was to travel and work abroad, which she did in numerous countries; France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and Argentina. She returned to South Africa and worked a few years at DeMorgenzon. Currently, she makes wine for Adi Badenhorst in the Swartland. Wines with vibrant fruit, structure, and a good backbone have always inspired her. Just like Chenin blanc. 

Cathy van Zyl

Cathy started her wine journey on a bicycle: she asked her husband to ride SA’s famed Cape Town Cycle Tour with her; he accepted if she attended a wine course with him. She has since notched up more than 21 tours - and passed the prestigious Master of Wine examination in 2005. Previously chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine’s education committee, she is now a member of its Council. Cathy judges locally and internationally, and is the SA contributor to Le Grand Tasting app by Bettane+Desseauve. She occasionally contributes to wine journals and websites around the world, but spends most of her wine-time as associate editor of Platter's South African WIne Guide. In 2019, she was named as the Cape Wine Masters' Personality of the Year for her passionate promotion of South African wine at every conceivable opportunity.  

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