The Chardonnay grape variety has its roots deep in the rich soil of Burgandy, but has now spread around the world. A cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc, Chardonnay is a worldwide success story that can be attributed to its resistance, superior quality, and capacity to adapt. This versatile grape brings out the best in the terroir where it is planted: Chardonnay wines produced in a cool climate have a vivifying and mineral palette of 'cool’ fruit flavours such as apple, pear, or citrus. In more temperate zones, the resulting wines are more supple and round, and develop white fruit aromas such as peach. When drenched in sunshine, Chardonnay grapes give white wines the richness of ripe and exotic fruit aromas. A Chardonnay wine’s robe also changes over time: its pale green tint takes on golden reflections. At mealtimes, Chardonnay brings out flavour without stealing the show. It is wonderful with seafood and fine poultry.
Different expressions of Chardonnay
Chardonnay is mainly cultivated in France and other European countries. It is particularly valued in Spain and Portugal, where the hot climate limits its production and makes it a rarety.
In the United States, Chardonnay is front and centre: it is the most widely planted grape variety in California, and is also grown in Oregon.
This shining star of the vineyard has conquered the ancestral lands of Australia and, in neighbouring New Zealand, the Chardonnay variety is in second place in terms of total acreage planted.
It is also found in South Africa, particularly in the Cape Town area.