Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Chardonnay - Grapes and Wines from Australia

Chardonnay is a white grape variety with green skin. It is grown in wide-ranging regions in the world from England in one hemisphere to New Zealand on the other. Grape is considered neutral with its major influences in flavors comes from the oak and terroir. Next, to Airén, it is grown over 160,000 hectares worldwide and is the second most grown grape variety.

Viticulture
 As a vigorous vine, it tends to block the sunlight and may even hinder the nutrient intake of its grape clusters with its densely-spread leaf cover. Being an early-budding vine, it may get damaged by springtime frost.

Variation in Flavors with respect to Climate
In cool locations, such as Chablis of California, wines tend to be light bodied and little acidic having tree fruit flavors. In relatively warmer locations, such as Adelaide Hills in Australia and Marlborough and Gisborne regions of New Zealand flavors differ and are more citrus. In Central Coast of California which is even warmer, tropical fruit flavors such as mango and banana are prevalent in wines.

Food Pairing
Chardonnay wines go well with roast chicken and white meat like turkey.

Confusion with Pinot Blanc
One can get confused between Pinot blanc and Chardonnay as vines are very similar but looking closely at the leaves of Chardonnay during ripening, they have a more golden-green color as compared to Pinot blanc.

History in Australia
Chardonnay cultivation began in 1832 by James Busby but the real growth happened in the 1950s. Today, major vine cultivation can be seen in New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. The first commercially successful Chardonnay was produced by Murray Tyrrell in 1971. With the Chardonnay boom of the 1980s and 1990s,

Australia wine makers tweaked their Chardonnay, enhancing its richness during the fermentation process. During this period the grape cultivation increased multifold and became the most widely planted white grape variety in Australia and overall third highest just behind Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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