Chardonnay - Ancestry
The Chardonnay grape is very important and arguably produces some of the most prestigious wines worldwide. Genetically, the Chardonnay grape is related to Burgundy varieties. The Chardonnay grape has its origins in the mountains of Lebanon and is supposed to have come to Europe with the knights of the Crusades, from which point it was subsequently propegated all over Europe by Sistine and Benedictine monks. Its name was coined much later and means roughly ‘place full of thistles’, most likely after a place in Burgundy of the same name.
The Notes of Chardonnay
The Chardonnay grape has high quality potential and produces light to honey-yellow white wines that are medium to full-bodied. Chardonnay wines exhibit notes of blossoms, honey, mango, vanilla and walnuts. Their alcohol content is often around 13.0 percent per volume, and oak cask maturation gives Chardonnay wines a more robust character.
Chardonnay – Winegrowing Regions
Three quarters of the Chardonnay grapevines cultivated in France are located in the vineyards of the Champagne and Burgundy winegrowing regions. All grand white wines from Burgundy are produced from this coveted grape variety, for example in the famous appellations Chablis, Aloxe-Corton, Meursault and Montrachet. The Chardonnay grape is cultivated in almost all European countries, as well as in New Zealand, Australia, South America and North America. In total, around 180 000 hectares of vineyard land is used for Chardonnay wine production worldwide. It has only been approved for vintification Germany since 1991.