Chardonnay Blanc, more commonly only Chardonnay, is a green grape from France that comes in many styles from all over the world.

Characteristics
Chardonnay is in itself a grape with medium level aromas.

Acidity levels will depend on where it has grown, the warmer the climate the lower the natural level of acidity and vice versa.

The grape ac­com­mo­dates many dif­fer­ent kinds of soil but the Kim­meridge cal­ci­um rich soil in parts of France helps ex­pressing some of its best sides.

Wines
Wines from colder areas, for example Chablis in France, will present fresh, crispy wines with aromas of green apples, pears, mineral and citrus.

Wines from temperate areas, for example southern Burgundy or northern New Zealand will typically present aromas of peach and yellow apples. If grown in a warm region such as California or Australia, you can expect to find aromas of tropical fruits, oranges, citrus and lime.

The style of Chardonnay depends on what the winemaker will do with it. When submitted to malolactic fermentation you can expect buttery and similar aromas.

Ageing in oak barrels will typically bring vanilla aromas and sometimes also nuttiness and some spiciness.

Steel tank fermentation will instead preserve the grape’s inherent fruity flavours and freshness.

Food pairing
If you’re having fresh, crispy Chardonnay, the advice is to choose food that will match its high acidity. Something salt, for example oysters or shrimps, will be an excellent choice. Enjoy the wine at 8-10°C/46-50°F.

If you’re having a warm climate Chardonnay, for example from California, Chile or Australia, roasted chicken or a risotto with truffles or similar. Or, why not oven baked salmon? The wine is best served at 10-12°C/50-54°F.

Where is it grown?
With 199.632 ha/493,302 ac Chardonnay is the sixth most planted grape world-wide, and second only to Airén when it comes to most planted green grapes. Between 2000 and 2010 plantings increased with thirty-seven percent.

Not only is it grown in thirty-two countries. In most countries, it is also reported to be planted in most of the regions. It is almost easier to say where it is not planted than where it is planted.

  • France 45.243 ha/112,243 ac. MPG rank 7
  • USA 40.846 ha/100,933 ac.MPG  rank 1
  • Australia 27.773 ha/68,629 ac. MPG rank 2
  • Italy 19.709 ha/48,702 ac. MPG rank 7
  • Chile 13.082 ha/32,326 ac. MPG rank 2
  • South Africa 8.278 ha/20,455 ac. MPG rank 6
  • Spain 6.958 ha/17,194 ac. MPG rank 22
  • Argentina 6.473 ha/15,995 ac. MPG rank 10
  • Moldavia 5.134 ha/12,686 ac. MPG rank 8
  • New Zealand 3.911 ha/9,664 ac. MPG rank 3
  • Ukraine 2.985 ha/7,376 ac. MPG rank 5
  • Hungary 2.757 ha/6,813 ac. MPG rank 8
  • Bulgaria 2.457 ha/6,071 ac. MPG rank 8
  • Russia 1.981 ha/4,895 ac. MPG rank 8
  • Germany 1.228 ha/3,034 ac. MPG rank 8
  • Slovenia 1.208 ha/2,985 ac. MPG rank 4
  • Canada 1.178 ha/2,911 ac. MPG rank 2
  • Romania 1.067 ha/2,637 ac. MPG rank 2

Plantings smaller than 1.000 ha/2,471 ac are reported from (in order of decreasing acreage): Portugal, China, Croatia, Japan, Greece, Switzerland, Slovakia, Brazil, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Israel, Cyprus, and finally, Peru.

History
Chardonnay most likely originates from somewhere in central eastern France, in the area of northern Burgundy, Champagne and Loire. The grape has its name from a village in Mâcconnais, one of Burgundy’s sub regions.