Chardonnay | The Versatile White

Chardonnay grapes close up

Fast Facts

  • Originated in Burgundy, France
  • The 5th most planted grape varietal in the world
  • Not given any other synonym or alternative name, once Chardonnay, always Chardonnay.
  • Countries it is planted in: France, America, Australia, and numerous others
  • One of the main 3 grapes used to make Champagne (Blanc de Blancs champagne is 100% Chardonnay grapes)


History

Said to have been named after the Latin word cardonnacum, “where the thistle grows”, the Chardonnay grape originated in Burgundy, in a small town in the Maconnais (where thistles do in fact grow). As like most grape varietals it was the Roman monks that begun planting the vines outside their monasteries and continued to cultivate it into the wine that is so widespread today. It is also one of the few grapes that has not been given a synonym anywhere in the world, simply Chardonnay for everyone. Montrachet, Meursault, Pouilly-Fuissé and Chablis are all regions highly experienced in the growing of the varietal and host some of the most high quality, and expensive, bottles on the market.

Growing the Grape

Chardonnay is one of the most versatile white grape varietals, hence why it has been, and continues to be, an incredibly popular choice for winemakers. Chardonnay can grow in both cool and warm climates, adapting it’s growth cycle to suit the terroir and weather. Ideally, if chardonnay had a say in where it was planted they’d opt for nice clay/marl/limestone filled soil. As this mixture is common within the soils of Burgundy, their chardonnays present some of the most elegant aromas of any Chardonnay.

Many people refer to the Chardonnay varietal as a blank canvas, a platform on which a winemaker can imprint their style and skill to reveal to the world who they are. If a winemaker takes care of the grapes, growing them in idyllic vineyards and terroir then it will reflect in the resulting wine. The use of oak, inclusion of seeds and stems, and types of yeasts used are among some of the choices the wine producers make to formulate their own character. Yet, an almost unstoppable element is the climate, if in a warmer climate it is always expected there will be a tropical tinge to the flavours, and cooler climates more orchard style fruity notes.

Person picking Chardonnay grapes off the vines and a whole bucket full of the grapes

Drinking Chardonnay

Always serve chilled! We recommend on a nice summers day, lounging about in the sunshine. But if you’re looking to enjoy it any time of the year, it is always best to serve at around 10-11°C, this allows the flavours to burst forth without them all muddling up and becoming muted. If you’re not looking to enjoy the whole bottle in one go, you can seal it back up (with cork or screw cap) and it will keep the fresh flavours for up to 4 days.

What to drink it with? As the most versatile grape varietal, you can enjoy it with almost anything. Always enjoyable as an aperitif alongside some cheeses and dips. Otherwise, any seafoods or white meats to keep the meal light and fresh throughout the palate.

Read more

Winery in Provence, darkening clouds over the vines

Provence | Where Rosé is Crafted to Perfection

Château Lafleur | Guinaudeau Vineyards

Château Lafleur | Guinaudeau Vineyards

Person clipping off Cabernet Franc grapes from the vines in France

Cabernet Franc | Hardy Grape of the Loire Valley

Your Cart

Sadly, your cart is emptier than a French politician’s promises.
Click here to continue shopping.