Chardonnay Grape Wine

Chardonnay Grape Wine

The world's most popular white grape, Chardonnay expresses its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Valley, California.

Chardonnay could be described as a 'winemaker's dream' because it's easy to work with and produces an amazing range of flavors - lemon, pineapple, peach, apple, honey, butter, bread, hazelnut, (oak-aged) vanilla, and biscuit. The butter and creamy texture often associated with Chardonnay is a significant sign that malolactic fermentation, which softens the 'green', underripe characteristics, has occurred. Malolactic fermentation will be encouraged in cool-climate wines that may well have excess acidity but is usually avoided in warmer climates, where acidity tends to be low.

Chardonnay reaches its greatest heights in Burgundy's Cóte D'Or, where the best wines, such as Meursault or Montrachet, gain sublime richness and complexity from the all-important limestone soil.

This grape's rise to stardom has been dramatic, considering that in South Australia, no Chardonnay was planted until the early 1970s. There is a danger though, that the full-bodied, buttery, fruity chardonnay with an oaky flavor will become so popular that it may become difficult to convince consumers that a fresh, lively, oak-free version not only shows the true characteristics of the grape variety, but is an alternative to the 'international style'.

Where in the world ?

The Chardonnay grape is grown in Burgundy, Champagne and the south of France, Australia, New Zealand, California, South America and South Africa.

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