Worldwide, there are over 500 grape varieties of which wine is produced from. Grape varieties and their own distinctive properties are the most important flavour characteristics from which you can recognise a wine. The aromas and flavours of different grape varieties forms a wine to what it is. You could be charmed by a wine and characteristics of a grape variety or quiver because it doesn’t suit your pallet.
We will describe numerous grape varieties as a guide line for you. Whenever you’re in a supermarket and indecisive about what kind of wine to purchase, think of this guide line and let it help you in the decision making process.
Chardonnay is the main reason why white wine is popular with the general public. High quality and delicious burgundies are responsible for the distribution of Chardonnay wines all over the world. Well-known names from Burgundy are the Chablis (very dry) and Meursault (tropical fruity, full bodied). The Chardonnay grape was first discovered in the 16th century in France, but only got registered at the end of the 17th century. The name of the grape is derived from the village Chardonnay in Burgundy. In the past, the Chardonnay grape often got mixed up with the Pinot Blanc.
The Chardonnay thrives in cooler as in warmer climates and is perfectly suited for all types of soil. The grape is, besides France, planted with great success in Italy, Spain and especially in the “new world” wine countries. Nowadays, California, Australia, South-Africa, Chili and New-Zealand produce excellent and affordable Chardonnay.
The Chardonnay grape matures fairly early in the season, has a thin skin and has a very profitable return on investment percentage. The thing that sets the Chardonnays apart is their full bodied flavour, even more so than then the Sauvignon Blanc wines. The grape is so versatile, that wine flavours can vary from fresh and fruity to full and creamy. The popular oak matured wines often have aromas of tropical fruit, honey, butter, toast, nuts, vanilla and are mostly supple, soft and full bodied. The wines that are not oak matured have a more fresh flavour due to the presence of hints of citrusfruits, pineapple, apple, melon and peach. The colour of Chardonnay wine varies light green yellow to intense yellow.