Chardonnay

Chardonnay was the most popular white grape through the 1990's. It can be made sparkling or still. Food pairings: a good choice for fish (even salmon) and chicken dishes. Districts: chardonnay makes the principle white wine of Burgundy (Bourgogne, France), where it originated. Chardonnay is versatile and is grown with success in most viticultural areas under a variety of climatic conditions. Yet it only amounts to 2 percent of the world vine areas. Total chardonnay vines cover more than 160,000 hectares (400,000 acres). The biggest states were in 2005: U.S.A.: California: 44,509 ha; Oregon and Washington state: 3,200 ha France: 35,252 ha Australia: 22,528 ha Italy: 11,800 ha Moldavia: 6,000 ha South Africa: 8,000 ha Chili: 7,500 ha Argentina: 5,155 ha Typical taste of the different types of chardonnay: voluptuous. Chardonnay wines are often wider-bodied (and more velvety) than other types of dry whites, with rich citrus (lemon, grapefruit) flavors. Fermenting in new oak barrels adds a buttery tone (vanilla, toast, coconut, toffee). Tasting a USD 20 Californian Chardonnay should give citrus fruit flavors, hints of melon, vanilla, some toasty character and some creaminess. Burgundy whites can taste very different.

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