Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America.
Describing the flavors of Chardonnay is no easy task. While many Chardonnay wines have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety's intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in ... more
California is the largest and most important wine region in the United States. Occupying the southern two-thirds of the country's west coast (Oregon and Washington make up the rest), it spans almost ten degrees of latitude and 850 miles (1370km) of coastline. With mountains, valleys, plains and plateaux, the state's topography is as complex as its climate, offering winegrowers a bewildering choice of terroir.