|Color||Almost always tends toward light golden hues.|
|Aroma||Tropical fruits, melons, mineral qualities, citrus and even green apple are all comon.|
|Body||Medium to Heavy|
|Wine Making Flavors||Heavy use of oak, but incorporates well into the wine.|
|Blended with:||Rarely, but occasionally of late with Sémillon.|
Chardonnay Wine Grapes, Flavor, Character, History
Chardonnay is the world’s most popular and important grape for producing white wine, as well as Champagne, sparkling wine and dessert wine. In fact, Chardonnay is now so popular, the grape has its own holiday, International Chardonnay Day is celebrated every May 21!
Chardonnay is light green in color and gracefully adapts to a divergent array of terroir. While France is the grape’s spiritual home, especially in the various Burgundy appellations, it also produces high quality wine in America, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Italy and numerous other countries. In America, it is grown in numerous states from coast to coast. Its greatest success is in northern California in the Sonoma Coast appellations followed by the Central Coastal regions. In Sonoma, Marcassin and Aubert are currently the two benchmark producers of the variety. Several other winemakers are producing Chardonnay that are almost at the same level of quality. In Burgundy, there are too many great producers to list. The best White Burgundy comes from the Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne appellations.
While Chardonnay can produce quality fruit in a variety of terroirs, soils and climates, the best expression for Chardonnay grapes comes from soils with high concentrations of chalk, clay and limestone. All three of those soil types dominate the best terroir of Burgundy. Most of the time, Chardonnay grapes are used to produce 100% Chardonnay wines. However, as the grape is versatile, it is used as a blending grape from time to time as well.