Chardonnay - Background of the wine strain
A grape variety with fair skin, with which white wine is usually made, found in Burgundy, in the east of France. It grows in regions where wine is produced, from England to New Zealand. It is considered a “rite of passage” and a first step in the international wine market in new and developing wine regions.
The Chardonnay grape produces a wide range of wines, from the crunchy and mineral-rich Chablis to oak aged wines with notes of tropical fruits. The grape is vinified in a wide variety of styles, from lean and crunchy mineral wines from Chablis (France) to oak wines from the New World with fruity notes.
In colder regions such as Chablis (France) and Los Carneros (California), chardonnay has a mild to light body and high acidity, since it has fruity flavors such as green plum, apple and pear.
Wines grown in the Australian hills of Adelaide and on the New Zealand Mornington Peninsula tend to have more citrus, melon and peach flavors in warmer places, while in very hot places (such as the AVA on the Central Coast of California) there are more notes of figs and tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes.
Malolactic fermentation, in which lactic acid is converted to non-lactic acid, produces wines with a more buttery mouthfeel and hazelnut flavors.
Champagne and Franciatorta (Province of Brescia – Italy) sparkling wines from all over the world are strong defenders of the Chardonnay grape. At the end of the 1980s, a surge in popularity created a reaction against this grape that branded it as a negative element in the globalization of wine.
Despite this, grapes are still one of the most widespread, with some 160,000 hectares cultivated worldwide. It is second only to Airén in the list of the most planted white grapes. It is grown in more wine regions than any other grape, including Cabernet Sauvignon.