25 years of Chardonnay at Cantele
Chardonnay, a white grape, the “international” grape variety par excellence, capably of delivering excellent results in all parts of the world where it is cultivated, rewarding wine lovers with a wide variety of styles and flavors depending on how the wine is vinified. Originally from the Mâconnais (Burgundy), where the tiny village named Chardonnay is located, it is found predominantly in Burgundy and in Champagne. One interesting scientific note: it’s possible that it originated through a spontaneous cross of two grape varieties, Pinot Noir and a grape originally from the Balkans, Gouais Blanc.
In Italy, Chardonnay has been planted in nearly every one of the nation’s 20 regions. In Lombardy, it’s planted in the Franciacorta appellation, where it is made into traditional-method sparkling wine.
It’s also very popular in blends, where Chardonnay all but guarantees the success of the wine.
Chardonnay gives superb results in regions like Friuli, Alto Adige, Tuscany, and Sicily. And in recent years, it’s also been planted in Puglia in the Salento peninsula.
Also known as Pinot Chardonnay, Morillon, Gamay Blanc, and Beaunais, the vines are known for their moderate vigor, with small to medium-sized bunches, compact and adorned with small but understated wings. The berries are small in size and their thin skins are powdery, yellow-green in color. It’s an early ripening variety and generally is harvested during the second half of August for best results in terms of its productivity.
Regardless of the style, the wine obtained from Chardonnay is intense hay yello in color. On the nose, it offers notes of exotic fruit (like banana) and citrus zest that will become buttery and spicy over time. And when it’s aged in new wood, it will take on a vanilla undertone. In the mouth, its balance of freshness and softness is complemented by its excellent aromas.
Twenty five years ago, we sold our first bottle of stainless-steel fermented and aged Chardonnay. Twelve years later, we made our first vintage of Teresa Manara Chardonnay, obtained from our best estate-owned vineyards. But that’s another story…Tags: Chardonnay, Teresa Manara