8 Questions About Chardonnay You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask, Answered

If you’re a wine-drinking adult, you’ve probably had a glass of Chardonnay at some point in your life. But the Chardonnay that you most recently had in your glass is most likely quite different from the one your colleague had at happy hour last night. That’s because Chardonnay is one of the most versatile varieties in the entire world, with a rich history and a flavor profile that ranges all over the spectrum. Despite being one of the most popular varieties in the world, Chardonnay can actually be one of the toughest to understand. Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Chardonnay but were afraid to ask.

Is Chardonnay a grape or a region?

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety that produces white wines in regions all over the world.

Where does Chardonnay come from?

Chardonnay was born in Burgundy, in the eastern part of France. It is considered to be the best region for growing the variety in the world.

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Where does Chardonnay grow?

Currently, Chardonnay grows in basically every wine-producing region in the world. The most popular regions for growing Chardonnay are Burgundy, California, Champagne, Washington, and Australia, though the grape is also grown in England, New Zealand, South Africa, New York, Lombardy (Italy), and elsewhere.

What kind of wine does Chardonnay make?

Chardonnay is best known for making dry white wines that range all over the flavor profile spectrum, from mouthwatering and super high-acid to rich, creamy, and full-bodied.

What are the most renowned regions for Chardonnay?

Chardonnay’s birthplace, Burgundy, is believed to produce the most renowned examples of Chardonnay in the world, notably within the Chablis and Côte de Beaune areas. Within the Côte de Beaune, various Grands Crus, such as Corton, Charlemagne, and Montrachet, are some of the most highly regarded.

How much does Chardonnay cost?

Chardonnay can range all over the spectrum, with inexpensive bottles for as little as $5 and Grands Crus for hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

What’s the difference between Burgundy and Chablis?

Chablis is a wine district situated within the region of Burgundy. It is the northernmost zone of Burgundy. Chardonnay produced in Chablis has much more striking acidity, prominent wet rock notes, and less fruit flavors than Chardonnay grown in warmer areas, including the Côte de Beaune.

What is an oaky Chardonnay?

During the late 20th century, Americans became obsessed with huge, “butter bomb” Chardonnay, which meant taking the juice and aging it in prominent new oak to impart creamy, “buttery” flavors. Nowadays, the craze for “buttery” Chardonnay is declining, with the American palate gravitating toward more balanced bottles.