Posts Tagged ‘chanrdonnay’

Weekly Wine Quiz #66: Grape Trivia – Chardonnay

July 20, 2013 16 comments
Chardonnay grapes after harvest, as presented in Wikipedia

Chardonnay grapes after harvest, as presented in Wikipedia

Welcome to the weekend!

Here we are, continuing our wine quizzes now with the (dare I say it) most famous white grape – Chardonnay!

Seriously, is there another grape which receives equal amount of attention? Not as a fad, but as a constant center of attention all the time, with new winemakers offering their own personal take on the grape, coming from all over the world, competing for supremacy with producers who boast hundreds and hundreds years of “prior experience”? Is there a winemaking country in the world *not* making wine out of Chardonnay – I doubt so…

Origins of Chardonnay go all the way back to the 12th century, starting (of course, where else) in France in Burgundy region. Today, Chardonnay is one of the most planted grapes in the world with 400,000 acres planted worldwide (and about quarter of that in California alone). Part of such a wide success of the Chardonnay can be attributed to the fact that Chardonnay is very adaptable, and can be successfully grown in various conditions, including climate  and soils. Additionally, Chardonnay is very “malleable” in the hands of the winemaker and can be used in variety of styles both with and without oak, and successfully ranging in the expression from sparkling to light and acidic white wines, going all the way to the heavy, big and monumental wines and then continuing on to the dessert wines (Australian “sticky”s come to mind). As you can imagine, such a popularity with the wine makers leads to the overproduction of boring and indiscreet wines, which generates periodic consumer backlash and creation of the self-proclaimed ABC clubs (Anything But Chardonnay). Nevertheless, anyone who had ever experienced great Chardonnay – coming from France, California, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Hungary and many other places, will always come back for more.

Now, to the quiz!

Q1: Name the producer of the most expensive Chardonnay wine in the world. As an added bonus, please also provide the name of the wine.

Q2: Chablis used to be the bustling Chardonnay producer in France, supplying most of the wine in Paris and beyond, until it came to the severe decline during the beginning to the middle of the 20th century. Do you know what was one of the biggest factors which led to that decline?

Q3: Name 3 main flavor descriptors of the *big* California Chardonnay

Q4: Judgement of Paris of 1976 was instrumental in bringing California Chardonnay onto the world-class wine map. Do you know which California winery we need to thank for that?

Q5: As with many other grapes, various clones had being developed for Chardonnay, to adapt better for the particular region and/or resulting wine style – for example, there is a number of so called Dijon clones of Chardonnay, which can be used by anyone wishing to produce a classic Burgundy style wine. One of the clones was developed in California in the middle of 20th century, and it is still a very popular choice among many California Chardonnay producers to the date. Can you name that clone?

Good luck, have fun, enjoy your weekend and cheers!

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