The Chardonnay village in the French district Bourgogne is responsible for creating the white grape wine behind the most famous sweet wine in the world.
Currently the second most popular wine all over the globe, the Chardonnay is popular not only because of its special taste but also because of the fact it is easy to grow adapting easily to almost all geographical areas of the world.
For a long time people mistook the Chardonnay for the Pinot Blanc since both species grew in the same French region being extremely similar as foliage.
The delimitation of the wine types appeared only by the middle of the 19th century and in Italy the delimitation of the two species was established by the wine specialists only around 1978.
The researchers created a theory that as structure, the Chardonnay was originally a white wine wild species brought from Lebanon and Syria by the European crusaders.
There were also theories that the original species came from Cyprus but the DNA studies concluded that the Chardonnay came to be as a result of the crossing between the Gousais Blanc – an obscure old vine almost extinct today, and a Pinot – most likely the Pinot Noir.
If the Gouais Blanc was brought by the Romans from the Balkans being further grown by the French peasants, the fact that it was grown next to the Pinot of the French aristocracy made it easier for the two species to mix.
As a result the Chardonnay came to be the neutral type of grape whose taste is influenced by the wine making process. The taste of Chardonnay wine is created by the type of wood the wine barrels are made of. The oak, for example, imposes its very own flavored notes during the fermentation, especially if the barrels are new.
Due to the oak barrels the Chardonnay receives certain fruity nuances of apple, peach and even tropical accents of lemon all resulted from the wine making process and the type of fermentation imposed to the wine.
Each region of France put a special print on the Chardonnay grape species. The one from Chablis (where it is the only grape species allowed) is slightly rough while the one from Meursault is more buttery.
In spite of this variety of styles the Chardonnay is famous because of its balanced sugar content, impeccable equilibrium between sweetness and acidity all mixed up in a sturdy but smooth wine. Practically at a Chardonnay the most important is the concentration and the power of the flavor.
Exactly the flavor in question it the one making mandatory to serve the wine at 13 degrees Celsius so it will not lose its fruity note.
Perfect to accompany Cheddar and Gruyere cheese, but also the exquisite companion for the sea fruit or salmon, the Chardonnay remains the delightful wine able to turn every meal into a celebration.
Its versatile nature makes it the favorite main variety of all high class French champagnes and perhaps the exact obscure origins of it correlated with its Pinot genealogy make Chardonnay a wine no classy meal can do without.