Chardonnay wine

Ripe chardonnay grapes on the vine

Chardonnay is one of the most versatile white grapes. Although it's grown across the world, its spiritual home is in Burgundy, France, where it's used to make exceptional white wines like Chablis. Although over-oaked new world versions gave Chardonnay a bad reputation during the 90's, fresher styles are helping it to make a comeback.

Most Italian Chardonnay comes from cool climate regions. In Piedmont it is used to make Langhe Chardonnay DOC wines - sometimes as a "three grapes" blend with Arneis and Sauvignon Blanc. It's also grown in Alto Adige where it makes aromatic and award-winning whites. Another region you'll find Chardonnay in is Lombardy, where it's used – along with Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc – to create Italy's answer to champagne, Franciacorta.

What does it taste like? Italian Chardonnay has the classic flavours of citrus fruit and green apple, along with the more characteristic tropical fruits of warmer regions. Expect pineapple, melon and mango. Whether it's oak aged or not will depend on the producer.

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