Chardonnay is a variety of white wine made using a variety of green-skinned grape. It is available in many versions such as Chablis, white Burgundy and Champagne. It is thought to have been produced in the Burgundy wine area of eastern France and is presently grown anywhere where wine is manufactured, right from England to New Zealand. For upcoming and progressing wine territories, nurturing Chardonnay wine is viewed as a "ritual of route" and a trouble-free lead into the international wine market. Chardonnay is a prime constituent of a lot of sparkling wines such as Champagne across the world over. It dominates America’s dry white wine selling scenario today.
Origin of the Chardonnay and Related Information
The history of Chardonnay was marked by a contradiction that it must have had a correlation with Pinot noir or Pinot blanc. Besides occurring in the same region of France for centuries, wine and grape researchers observed that the leaves of every plant had almost-matching shape and construction. Many noted viticulturists arrived at a possibility that vine was different from other chief grape varieties and must have hailed from wild Vitis vinifera which was a phase separated from white Muscat. Actual origins of Chardonnay grapes were additionally contradicted by vineyard owners in Lebanon and Syria, who asserted that the grape's descent hinted to the Middle East, the region from where it was introduced to Europe by frequenting Crusaders. Recent research studies imply that Chardonnay wine is the outcome of a cross between the Pinot and Gouais Blanc (Heunisch) grape varieties.
Regions Producing Chardonnay or growing grapes of Chardonnay variety
France is the major producer of this Chardonnay. Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy contribute over three-fifths of all plantings in France. Other French wine regions with Chardonnay plantings consist of Alsace, Ardèche, Jura, Savoie and the Loire Valley.
In North America, predominantly in California, Chardonnay was established of another region where it could flourish and create a style of wine that was clearly unlike than that of France.
In Australia, it is greatly produced in South Australia, New South Wales — specifically in the Hunter Valley - and Victoria.
In Italy-Sicily, Apulia, Piedmont and Tuscany are the major producers of Chardonnay wine.
In South Africa, Western Cape is the leading producer of Chardonnay. Besides the above Chardonnay grows in cool climate sites including Greece, Israel and Lebanon as well as Austria, Bulgaria, England, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
Preparation of Chardonnay
The wine-making cycle for Chardonnay usually takes a month or two beginning usually in and around September and lasting throughout most of October. The Chardonnay grapes are hand-picked and taken soon enough to the winery, where they are squashed and pressed. The juice is then allowed to cool and put into 50-gallon oak barrels for fermentation. The phenomenon lasts for up to 6-8 weeks and last about 3-6 days in case of warmer atmospheric conditions. The wine goes through an important fermentation process called (malo-lactic) fermentation that occurs in cool temperature. Once the barrel fermentation is done, the clear wine is shelved (after the solid sediments are removed) and laid back into 50-gallon oak barrels for aging. Afterwards, the wines are tasted in diverse blend combinations to conclude which one yields the best final wine. Once blending is done, the resulting wine is added back into the barrels where the distinct fragrances and flavours are allowed to get hitched. The resulting brew is the fine Chardonnay wine which is bottled for consumption.
Food Pairing for Chardonnay
The apt food pairing for the wine is with roast chicken and other white meats such as turkey. Strongly oak influenced Chardonnays do not pair well with faint fish and seafood dish. They rather go better with smoked fish, spicy South East Asian cuisine, garlic and guacamole dips. Chardonnays from Washington, regarded as containing more acidity are likely to pair well with tomato-based dishes and food consisting of sweet onions. Aged and smoother Chardonnays are often paired with "earthy" dishes such as mushroom soup and aged cheese.
Here is the typical aging cycle for Chardonnay wine:
1 to 2 years old - In this stage, the wine is youthful and fruity. It has a citrus aroma with notes of grapefruit, lime and kiwi. The sourness of the wine is conspicuous, giving it a brusque, neat finish.
2 to 5 years old – In this stage, the wine develops a richer, creamier quality often explained as buttery; casting aromas of pineapple, coconut, and tropical fruit.
5 to 7 years old - The wines in this stage possess a rich golden colour with a smoky honey nature.
Chardonnay wine is served typically in Champagne flutes or similar glasses.
Chardonnay wine is known by many regional synonyms including Arboisier, Arnaison Blanc, Arnoison, Aubain, Aubaine, Auvergnat Blanc, Auvernas, Auvernas Blanc, Auvernat Blanc, Auxeras, Auxerras Blanc, Auxerrois Blanc, Auxois, Auxois Blanc, Bargeois Blanc,etc.