Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, including the Netherlands. Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne and Franciacorta in Italy. Chardonnay’s popularity peaked in the late 1980s, then gave way to a backlash among those wine connoisseurs who saw the grape as a leading negative component of the globalization of wine. Nonetheless, it is one of the most widely planted grape varieties, with 210,000 hectares worldwide.
The Chardonnay grape itself is neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the wine being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France, to New World wines with oak and tropical fruit flavors. In cool climates, Chardonnay wine tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple, and pear.
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