A Short History Of Australian Chardonnay

Intro Into Chardonnay Wine

When we say Chardonnay, we must admit that we are talking about one of the most wonderful and tasty white wines in the world. But, when it comes to its roots, there is no certain story about its beginnings. Many people believe the beginnings of Chardonnay wine date from the time when ancient vineyards started cross-pollinating between Pinot and Gouais Blanc grapevines, but there are actually many other varieties of wine grapes that can be related to the beginnings of Chardonay.

White Wine Pour

The history of Chardonnay, says that the grapes are called Chardonnay because they have originated from a village named Chardonnay in Maconnais, which is a Burgundy region. The story tells that Chardonnay wine was spread throughout France by Cistercian monks in 1330.

Chardonnay wines have a distinct taste and different flavour depending on where were they grown and their wine-making process. Chardonnay wines grown in warmer climates have a wonderful buttery-honey flavour, while those in cool climates have fruity flavors.

Australian Chardonnay

The Australian Chardonnay stepped into its land in 1832 by the hands of the great James Busby, but its serious beginnings date from 1950. South Australia distinguishes as the part, which specializes in Australian Chardonnay, especially the Hunter Valley and Victoria.

The first commercially successful Australian Chardonnay was produced in the Hunter Valley by Murray Tyrrell, in 1971. His vineyard was planted with Chardonnay vines that he “borrowed” from Penfolds’ experimental plantings.
Australia marks success with its Chardonnay in the 80s and 90s. The Australian Chardonnay differs from the other by its fruity flavors and easy approachability.

By the time, Chardonnay plants increased a lot and by 1990 it was the most widely planted wine grape in Australia and the third most planted, right behind Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Wine Making

There are two procedures when it comes to Chardonnay wine-making process.

The first one is related to the use of malolactic fermentation (or MLF). The malic acid gets converted into a softer lactic acid which creates the “buttery-ness” in some Australian Chardonnays.

The second wine-making process is made without the use of MLF. Those types of Chardonnays have more green apple fruity flavours. Depending on the oak, the wine can get a “toastiness” and characteristic for the wine flavours. These flavors can include smoke, cream, caramel, spice, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon and coconut.

Chardonnay Food Pair

Chardonnay wine is the best companion for seafood, creamy sauces and poultry. The buttery taste of a good Chardonnay goes perfectly with mild cheeses and a crab cake appetizer, while the fruity types of Chardonnays go well with salmon and oysters.


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