Californian Chardonnay

With over 100,000 acres in production, Chardonnay claims more acreage than any other wine grape in California, and reigns supreme as the most popular wine consumed in the US (that’s including reds and whites).

Chardonnay can trace its humble origins to Burgundy. Today it is the most widely planted white wine grape in the world. Why?

Chardonnay is prized because it’s a hardy, vigorous vine that readily reflects “terroir” (a French term referring to the characteristics imparted to a wine by the climate and soil in which it is grown). Stylistically, Chardonnay can be clean with bright acidity or full-bodied with tropical notes and varying degrees of oak. In California, the latter is the more popular style.

Vintage Ink Chardonnay
Vintage Ink Chardonnay

Sonoma Coast Chards have more acidity. The coastal fog lends a degree of cooling and these wines will often exhibit pear and crisp apple notes, as well as lively citrus characteristics. Napa Valley Chards lean toward a riper and fuller style, with tropical fruit notes. Oak aging adds layers of vanilla, spice, butter and toasted hazelnut.

Oakier Chards with a slightly buttery profile have a natural affinity with rich seafood such as lobster or halibut. They also stand up well to eggs benedict, pork chops stuffed with apples or roasted butternut squash. Crisper, unoaked Chards are best paired with prawns, crab cakes, salads with mangos and or even mild curries.

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