from vine to wine and everything in between

Say Hey To Chardonnay

Say Hey To Chardonnay

Grape

Chardonnay

 

Color

White

 

Regions

Worldwide.  Most notably – France, Italy, United States, Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Soil Type

All.  Prefers limestone, chalk, clay.

 

Viticulture

  • Chardonnay is a relatively easy grape to grow, due to its vigor and adaptability to a wide variety environments.  Its worldwide distribution highlights the fact it can grow well in both warm and cool climates.
  • This high adaptability also makes it a very terroir-driven fruit.  This means it takes on many characteristics of its environment – soil, air quality, the crops growing nearby, even the style of the winemaker himself.

  • Chardonnay must be pruned – a lot!  Because it is so vigorous, the leaves, or canopy, can often shield the fruit from the sun.  This can inhibit nutrient uptake, which produces less flavorful and lower quality grapes.

  • Grapes should be harvested soon after they ripen, as they are quick to lose their acidity.

  • Chardonnay is one of the most (if not the most) planted white grape variety in the world!

Delicious Chardonnay grapes after being harvested at night. Doing so helps keeps the sugar levels stable, resulting in better wine!
Delicious Chardonnay grapes after being harvested at night.  Doing so helps keeps the sugar levels stable, resulting in better wine!

 

Vinification

  • Unoaked Chardonnay is a light style of white wine, typically on the crisp or zesty side due to a higher acidty. These wines are made in stainless steel or concrete.
  • Oaked Chardonnay is just like it sounds – made in oak barrels.  These wines have a full, rich body with ripe flavors.

  • Many sparkling wines utilize Chardonnay – especially Champagne.  Other sparkling wines made with Chardonnay include Cava from Spain and Franciacorta from Italy.

  • If you’re looking for a creamy Chardonnay, you need a wine that has undergone malolactic fermentation.  This is a type of fermentation that happens after the initial fermentation of the wine, in which tart malic acid is converted into creamy lactic acid.

 

Hallmarks

  • Cool climate Chardonnay expresses notes of apples, pears, peaches, tangerines, lemons, saline, minerals, and florals.
  • Warmer climate wines tend towards figs, pineapples, melons, papayas, mangoes, honey, honeysuckle and beeswax.

  • Chardonnays that have seen oak time and undergone malolactic fermentation may show additional notes of vanilla, caramel, butter, bread, baked goods, nuts, coconut and burnt sugar.

 

Pairings

  • Cheese: Brie, Camembert, Gouda, Edam, Gruyere
  • Meat: chicken, turkey, lean pork

  • Seafood: salmon, mackerel, shellfish, crab, lobster, butter/cream sauces

  • Pasta/Risotto: tomato or herb based for unoaked, and butter or cream based for oaked

  • Vegetables: Squash, zucchini, pumpkin, mushrooms, peas

 

Suggestions

  • Domaine de La Romanée-Conti Montrachet, Montrachet Grand Cru, France (ask your auctioneer…)
  • Kistler Vineyards Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, California $65.99

  • Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Special Select Chardonnay, California $13.99

 

Let The Glorious Grape know what Chardonnay you’re drinking in the comments!



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