Chardonnay is probably the best-known white grape variety in the world and is certainly one of the most widely planted. Suited to a wide variety of soils, it is easy to grow and easy to like. It is the grape of white Burgundy, where it excels in soils with high limestone content, producing some of the finest dry white wines in the world, which are dry, rich, and honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. Chardonnay also plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, where it provides both the structure and finesse. It takes well to oak aging & barrel fermentation and is easy to manipulate with techniques such as sur lie aging & malolactic fermentation. Now planted almost universally with best results in parts of California, Australia, Italy, South Africa and New Zealand, it gives firm, full strong wine with scent and character, on chalky soils becoming almost luscious without being sweet. Apple, Pear, Vanilla, Fig, Peach, Pineapple, Melon, Citrus, Lemon, Grapefruit, Honey, Spice, Butterscotch, Butter & Hazelnut are some of the words associated with Chardonnay. Over the past few years, there has been a welcomed move towards more elegant, better-balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnay wines from the New World.
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