Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine grape. Chardonnay wine's homeland is the Burgundy region of France, where it produces sublime, complex Chardonnay table wines (in Champagne and elsewhere it provides the base for many of the world's best sparkling wines), but it also flourishes in California, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.
Chardonnay is one of the few grapes in the world that does not require blending. It is a highly complex, aromatic grape, complete and balanced enough in flavor to stand beautifully on its own. The artistry of the winemaker's fermentation and aging process brings forth an intriguing variety of delicate aromas and flavors in Chardonnay wines.
Chardonnay made as a pure white wine conjures up visions of green apple, lemon or citrus, all pointing to fruity flavor and acidity. Wines made from extremely ripe grapes bear the distinctly softer Chardonnay flavors of figs, pineapples, ripe apples, melons and honey.
Chardonnay is a good-yielding variety that buds early in the season and also ripens relatively early, with its thin skin making it susceptible to rot from early rains. Chardonnay ripens easily and produces medium-to-full-bodied Chardonnay wines with rich apple, citrus, and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. When Chardonnay wines are made with care, they are bold, rich and complex and taste of ripe figs and peach, honey and butter, hazelnuts and spice. The best are medium-bodied, medium dry and high in acidity. Chardonnays, more than any other white wine, love to be aged in oak.
Chardonnay Wine Tip:
Chardonnay wine is not an especially versatile food wine and is best paired with simply prepared seafood and poultry dishes.
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