Chardonnay Grape


Chardonnay: Indigenous to the Burgundy region of France. Arguably the world’s most popular white grape variety based on consumer demand. It is grown almost everywhere in the New World. In cooler climates like Burgundy and Champagne it produces lean, crisp, mineral wines. In warmer regions it tends to produce more full-bodied wines. Both oaked and un-oaked versions are common. Rarely is it made into a truly sweet wine, though many winemakers leave some detectable residual sugar to round out the body and keep alcohol levels low. Chardonnay has the ability to age well in the bottle, up to a decade or more in certain cases. The style can be from the rich Sonoma Chardonnay to the light-and-zesty ‘Blanc de Blancs’ of Champagne.

If you like the idea of butter in your glass, you’ll love the classic style of oak-aged Chardonnay wine. On the other hand, if words like “Pinot Grigio” make you feel woozy with love, then your perfect Chardonnay is the unoaked kind. How can a single grape offer such a variety of flavors? Well, in addition to the difference in winemaking (oak vs. no oak), ripeness has a lot to do with flavor.


Worldwide production: 410,000 acres,      Top producers: France, USA, Australia

Alcohol: medium to high,             Acidity: low to high

Chardonnay tasting profile

  • FRUIT FLAVORS (berries, fruit, citrus)Lemon, Apple, Pear, Pineapple, Jackfruit, Passionfruit, Peach, Fig
    • OTHER (herb, spice, flower, mineral, earth, other)
  • OAK ADS THESE FLAVORS Vanilla, Baked Tart, Butter, Pie Crust, Caramelized Sugar, Creme Brulee, Dill, Coconut, Praline
  • ACIDITY  Medium Low (oaked warm climate) – Medium High (unoaked cool climate)

Why do some Chardonnays taste creamy?

  • The smell of vanilla, butter, coconut and dill are all attributes of oak-aging. However, the texture that some Chardonnays have that can be described as Oily, Creamy, Smooth or Waxy are from a special kind of fermentation
  • What is Malolactic Fermentation?
  • After the wine is fermented, an additional fermentation called Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) will give wine an oily texture. MLF turns tart malic acid (the acid in apples) to smooth lactic acid (the acid in milk). A malolactic fermentation involves a different kind of yeast that gobbles up malic acid and poops out lactic acid. If you want a rounder, more creamy-feeling wine, look for wines that have gone through MLF.


Check out some featured Chardonnay offerings from the Farrell portfolio


Meat – Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Pork Loin, Halibut, Trout, Cod, Sturgeon, Oily Flaky Fish, Atlantic Salmon, Lobster, Crab, Scallops, Shrimp, Clams, Oysters (unoaked)

Greens – Tarragon, Parsley, Thyme, Lemon Zest, Marjoram, White Pepper, Shallots, Poultry Seasoning

Cheese – Soft – Semi Soft Cow’s Milk Cheese and Goat Cheese.

Veggies – Yellow Squash, Peas, Zucchini, Asparagus, Sun Chokes, Seitan, White Mushrooms, Truffles, Chanterelles, Almonds


Old World-Style Chardonnay New World-Style Chardonnay
Citrus fruit: lemon, grapefruit Tropical fruit: banana, pineapple
Fresh Granny Smith apples Apple pie, apple dumpling, apple cobbler
Butter Butterscotch, caramel
Nuts Smoke, toast
Honey Praline, burnt sugar
Minerals, flint Vanilla, ginger, nutmeg
Very little wood A lot of oak
High acid Low acid
Can be quite long-lived and age-worthy More for short- or medium- term consumption

Remember, not to drink that Chardonnay to cold,  from VINEPAIR tell us, see a small snippet from the article below, full article can be seen here.


“You know those really, really hot summer days when you unconsciously turn the AC down to, like, winter-level temperatures? When you turn your room or apartment into a mini-fridge because you’re kinda pissed at the sun, and then about two hours into your chilly victory, you realize you’re shivering? Well, that’s what we’re all doing to white wine. Not that we’re angry at it (who could be angry at Chardonnay? Seriously.). But that old directive “serve red wine room temp, white wine chilled” stuck in our brains like freezer burn to the top of delicious ice cream, and most of us haven’t broken the habit of not only chilling, but over-chilling, all manner of white wines. It’s Pinot Grigio, not vodka. Give it a break from the fridge. Or at least a cardigan. Again, personal taste reigns supreme. If you like your Chardonnays straight from an ice bucket filled with liquid nitrogen, go for it. But if you want to get the most character out of your white wines — and they’ve probably been bustin’ to share their hidden talents with you for a while now — don’t serve them straight from the fridge. Let them rest on the counter 10 minutes before serving time. Use that 10 minutes to reflect on how white wine-savvy you are.”