Chardonnay was once believed to be a cross between Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir, but some genetic research later proved that the grape derives its roots from Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir. While the Gouais Blanc has gone almost obsolete over time, Chardonnay is now ruling the global wine grape production. Indeed, it is one of the top five cultivated grape varieties, with a massive cultivation over 211,000 hectares across the world.
Chardonnay is widely cultivated in the Burgundy region of France, all credits to the Romans who while migrating from Croatia to France brought along the Gouais grapes that interbred with the local Pinot Noir grape variety – hence came Chardonnay. Today, more than 35 varieties of Chardonnay are being cultivated in different regions across France, the most-popular of which include the many types of Dijon clones.
Chardonnay is a major cultivation in all wine grape growing regions of the world. The Chardonnay plant is highly adaptable to different climatic conditions, and therefore, the taste varies with the climatic region where it is grown. The countries producing the highest yield of Chardonnay include France, USA, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
The grape itself has a subtle, neutral taste, but the wines made from it come in diverse flavour variants such as buttery, slightly tangy, and even vanilla and caramel. These flavours are derived from external influencers, such as oak and terroir that are infused while brewing. The neutral flavour of chardonnay grapes does not overpower the infused taste but enhances it to make it the buttery, fruity frizzy goodness you feel with each chug. Chardonnay wine is primarily known for its toasted oaky flavour. However, if heavily oaked Chardonnay is not your cup of tea, you can opt for its crisper, unoaked variants.
Wines made from Chardonnay
The soft basic taste of Chardonnay grapes makes it versatile for different flavour infusions used in fine wines. It is being largely in the making of sparkling wines, from Franciacorta to Champagne. The popular bubbly Blanc de blancs is made from 100% Chardonnay. Other champagnes could be a thoughtful blend of different grapes such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The other popular white wines made from Chardonnay include Montrachet, Saint Veran, Meursault, Pouilly-Fuisse, and Chablis, which is 95% unoaked.
What actually makes Chardonnay wines popular is the amazing way they pair with and complement an extensive spectrum of food types. The heavily oaked Chardonnays go well with sizzlers, steaks, spicy and smoked cuisines. Whereas the unoaked, crisper Chardonnay complement light seafood delicacies like a match made in heaven. The flavour-infused Chardonnay wine varieties tend to enhance the taste of savouries containing tomato, cheese, sweet onions and mushrooms.
Oaky, buttery, vanilla, crisp, infused – how do you like your Chardonnay?
We have a variety of exquisite Chardonnay wines in our collection to satiate all tastes. And if you have a knack for some interesting experimentation, you can use our food pairing filter to find the one that touches your soul. Browse our online collection today.