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Chardonnay: history and characteristics

Chardonnay is a white grape wine, cultivated all over the world, enough to be internationally considered the best known and most appreciated variety. The cultivation of this type of grape allows to produce still and sparkling wines, among which the most famous is Champagne. But what is its history?

Traditionally it is believed that Burgundy is the cradle of Chardonnay, among the French regions the one most devoted to the production of quality wines. This white grape strain is thought to have been imported to France from Croatia directly by the Roman people, but scholars argue Persia is the true place of origin of that vine. Nowadays, Chardonnay grows in France, Spain, the United States and Australia; naturally also in Italy, especially in Sicily, Piedmont, Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige.

It’s estimated today there are about 160,000 hectares of land planted with Chardonnay grapes, of which about 50,000 are in France, approximately one third.

Characteristics of the vine

Chardonnay is a small cluster variety, generally of medium compactness and defined shape. Berries are small and uniform, with circular sections, and have greenish-yellow skin in the period of maximum ripeness. The pulp doesn’t have any pigmentation and is soft and very juicy. The vine strain of Chardonnay adapts to different types of soils and climates, as long as they are not excessively humid. It is sensitive to cold springs and mold.

There are several varieties of Chardonnay, mostly created as clones in French vineyards. Dijon clones 76, 95 and 96, for example, produce clusters with a very concentrated flavor, while 77 and 809 are known and appreciated for their characteristic more aromatic flavor. Among the varieties we can quote:

  • Chardonel, that is a cross between Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc
  • Chardonnay Rosa
  • Chardonnay Blanc Musqué

Chardonnay grape is the basis of the Champagne recipe with Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes. The wine is called Blanc de Blancs when made only using Chardonnay grapes.

Chardonnay is a very versatile wine, ideal to accompany different types of courses. It is excellent with white fish, grilled and stewed, with seafood, white meat, cold cuts and vegetarian dishes. To enhance its acidity, you should serve at a temperature of 10-12° C.

Chardonnay wine prices

We offer fine Chardonnay wines and know how to meet the satisfaction of all our customers, without neglecting a high standard of quality. This is why in our wine shop you will find, for example, labels of absolute depth for the most demanding customers, such as the Federico II sparkling wine from the Milazzo winery, at a price of 54 euros per bottle, or the Vigna San Francesco wine from the Tasca d’Almerita winery, at the price of 34.75 euros. Among our bottles, we also have fine Chardonnay wines at lower prices, such as the Chiarandà wine from the Donnafugata winery for 27.25 euros and the “Chardonnay” wine from the Planeta winery at 22.75 euros per bottle.