Chardonnay

Chardonnay

 

Since its beginnings in Burgundy, Chardonnay has traveled across the globe, taking root in every old and new world location and ranging from the inexpensive, everyday to the super premium. In Australia, Chardonnay performs best in the cooler climates. The most notable of which is Western Australia’s Margaret River region where the cooling, coastal wines provide crisp acidity and great freshness. The use of quality oak in fermentation and aging is common in Margaret River and the high levels of sunshine provide optimum ripeness often showing intense citrus and stone fruit qualities. All these factors combine to make Margaret River one of the worlds most premium regions for producing Chardonnay that rivals the best of Burgundy. Chardonnay was a late bloomer in the already, comparatively young Margaret River so the potentials have only recently been recognized and Chardonnay is becoming a staple of most producer's portfolios with incredible examples being produced from such names as Deep Woods, Flowstone, Watershed, Pierro, Nocturne and Domaine Naturaliste. Head east and you can find it in the cool climate of Adelaide Hills with Petaluma and heading further east into Victoria where you can get great examples in the cool Yarra Valley from Hoddles Creek and By Farr in Gippsland. One of the most exciting regions in Australia at the moment is Tasmania which is much cooler than most of the mainland and Chardonnay is grown here for both high quality sparkling and still wines. Great examples of each can be seen from House of Arras, Hardys, Hughes & Hughes and Sailor Seeks Horse, Tasmania’s cool climate helping to create great freshness in the grapes.

New Zealand’s cool climate is also ideal for Chardonnay across the entire island from Auckland in the North with the incredible wines of Kumeu River, Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the north island and most famously from Marlborough where you can find vibrant expression from Dog Point and Novum.

The USA and most notably California also excels in Chardonnay, taking advantage of the various sub-regions and AVA’s across the state. Napa can produce rich and bold Chardonnays, most notably Beringer who produces a weighty, buttery style. Cooler regions, closer to the coast produce fresher styles, Sonoma being home to some of the country's top producers such as Ramey and DuMol, Santa Cruz hosts Varner, who specialise in a range of Chardonnays and further south you find Santa Barbara where you can find the excellent Chanin Wines.

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