Do You really know Chardonnay?


JANUARY 7 | 2019

AUTHOR | Kris Graczy

DNA analysis by Dr. Carole Meredith from the University of California at Davis proves that Chardonnay is a cross of ancient grape varietal called Gouais Blanc (white color) and Pinot Noir (red color).

Gouais Blanc

Pinot Noir

It means that in Burgundy wild spreaded vines where cross-polinating beetwen each other and a gen jumped creating mutation which was beggining of a most famous and well cultivated white vitis vinifera represent which is known now as a Chardonnay.




Originated land of Gouais Blanc is Croatia. Probably arrived in France with Romans, was not well liked even then and has been actively dug up through the centuries hence leading to its now nearly extinct title. That fenomena on combining white and red varietal from the seed that developed a single seeding sprung up in a vineyards somewhere. A former took a liking to it and multiplied it. Chardonnay is a vigorous, heavy cropping variety with medium size bunches, have tightly packed berries forming a single cluster. Berries are small, fragile, golden yellow color, required care during harvest to avoid oxidation. Its still the most widely planted winegrape in California (82 000 acres). Very important in premium wine production in US and France but suited for cool coastal sites of Region I & II. Grown everywhere due to demand. You can recognize it in the vineyards by its naked veins in petiolar sinus of a leaves. Produced as a very elegant wine with various aromatic compunds depended of a production.

It grows on many different continents and in several climates. all of these factors bring out unique aspects of the terroir and the grape. It is known for its versatility, because it can adapt and grow in many different climates. Today, Chardonnay is one of the most cultivated varieties in the world, planted on an area of more than 160, 000 hectares (approx. 395,368 acres). In addition to France, this magical grape can be found i the UnitedStates, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and Chile.

Chardonnay buds early, making it vulnerable to spring frosts in cold soil. Ideally, it flourishes medium-fertile soil composed of rich marl or limestone. In warmer climates, it requires healthy soil that is good at retaining water. If the soil cannot retain water well, the drought can injure the vine. In the North, Chardonnay tends to have more vegetable and mineral characteristics. In the South, it can be more fruit-centric. Common fruit flavors are lemon, apple, pear & pineapples. Wet flint rocks, celery leaves and honeysuckle are also characteristics of the variety. Depending on how the wine is aged, flavors of vanilla, butter and caramelized sugar can be distinguished. These pastry-like flavors are present when the wines are aged in barrels. All of that factors making Chardonnay so popular in Our generation from younger to more mature wine lovers. And it will continue to be successful in the future because of its flavor and aroma diversity.

„Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s essence of civilisation and the art of living”
– Robert Mondavi

Kris Graczy

Kris Graczy

Wine Consultant

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