Chardonnay makes a huge range of styles of wine

april 08 2011


It has the distinction of (probably) being the most popular grape on the planet. And there are a number of good reasons why it is so popular.


In this short article we will explore origins of grape and give you the background to the great Chardonnay and what makes it so special.



The Chardonnay grape appears to be unrelated to any other significant major vine, despite a long standing belief that it was closely related to the other major Burgundy grape, Pinot Noir. All wine grapes are ultimately descended from wild vines and belong to the Vitis vinifera genus, but there the relationship appears to end for Chardonnay. There are some very minor relatives, including a pink Chardonnay, but its closest relative is probably Muscat.


Another common belief is that Chardonnay’s origins are in the Mâconnais in France, where the village of Chardonnay can be found. It is more likely that, in common with most major grape varieties, its true home is in the Middle East, most likely Lebanon and Syria. “Passing “crusaders probably transported the vine to Europe.


There is now no doubt now that Chardonnay’s homeland is in France and indisputably in Burgundy, where it reaches it apogee, especially in the Côte d’Or. It is however a truly international player, with plantings in almost every country that grows grapes for wine, including England.




Broadly Chardonnay is a pretty easy grape to grow. It adapts well to a wide variety of climates, from marginal in Champagne and England through to the hot Californian Central Valley and Riverina in Australia. Its only real disadvantage is that it buds early and consequently is susceptible to damage due to spring frosts. Chardonnay ripens early however, helping it avoid most of the risk of rot from autumn rain. It is prone to powdery mildew, grey and noble rot in damp conditions, but is generally very hardy.


Chardonnay is a vigorous vine and therefore it is often very densely planted and usually subject to severe canopy management practices. It adapts to most soil types, with the probable exception of very rich and wet soils. It is best suited to poor, calcareous soils and it is in these soils that the vine produces it most interesting grapes.


The vine is a good producer, consistently yielding 50hl/ ha in Burgundy, with relatively high sugar content. Acid levels fall quickly in Chardonnay when ripe and therefore picking at the correct time is vital to avoid a flabby wine.




Chardonnay makes a huge range of styles, from fresh lean sparkling wine in Champagne to the rich, oaky blockbusters found in Australia and California. It responds well to a variety of wine making techniques, including a great affinity for oak.


The winemaker can play with Chardonnay, experimenting with new techniques and processes. There have been and are examples of wines being subject to long skin contact, mechanical concentration, warm fermentation (usually a very bad idea for white wines) to very cold (almost Asti like) fermentation. And the grape more often than not responds by producing a high quality wine.

When carefully made, Chardonnay has good ageing potential, especially in French examples.


Wine Styles


As we’ve already observed, Chardonnay makes a huge range of styles and these are greatly influenced by the winemaking practices.


But what does Chardonnay taste like? Well, it doesn’t have a particularly well defined varietal character, more often reflecting its terrior than most other grapes.


Look at and compare a Chablis with a Meursault or even the Shaw & Smith Unoaked Chardonnay with the Catena Chardonnay and you’ll find very different wines from the same grapes grown in very similar climates.


For a description of wine styles and examples of each style in the West Mount Wine catalogue, please look at our section on Chardonnay wine styles.




Well there we have it, an introduction to Chardonnay, probably the most ubiquitous grape in the world. A grape whose popularity owes much to its ability to grow and ripen almost anywhere, give generous yields and respond to a variety of wine making techniques to produce a wide range of wine styles. There may be the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd, but ultimately it’s a very versatile and commercial grape and it does make great wine.




Foodies and wine lovers travel north from Manila to wine and dine at Philippines’ best fine dining restaurant in Pampanga Clark Freeport worth the 60-minutes drive for a memorable evening of good food with vintage wine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar


This fine dining restaurant is also famous for its low carbohydrates “low carb” dishes highly recommended for frequent diners who are on a low fat food and favor healthy food.  This is a unique restaurant that can help frequent diners maintain a healthy diet and enjoy delicious fine dining cuisine at the same time.  Vegetarian dishes are a specialty here also and so are “halal” cuisines also.


Favorites of frequent diners, foodies and wine lovers are steaks, Wagyu, Foie Gras, lobsters, venison, kangaroo loin, osso buco, veal chops, Kurabuto pork, escargots and a good selection of cheeses to enjoy with fine Vintage port and Sauternes.  Cuban cigars such as Monte Cristo, Cohiba, Upmann, Partagas, Romeo Julieta and Trinidad are also available in the Magnum Room which is a wine bar and lounge for before and after dinner relaxation.  A good selection of Armagnac, Cognac, Single Malt, Vodka and other liquor is served in addition to the wine vintage wines some served by the glass.


Recent opinion survey of frequent travelers heading north towards Subic and Clark Pampanga revealed that the number one most frequently visited fine dining restaurant in Pampanga is Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar located in Clark Philippines.



Inquiries and reservations


(045) 599-5600




Ask for Pedro and Kiko





Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines

How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines?  Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa.  After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left.  Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.


Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar

Mimosa Drive past Holiday Inn, Mimosa Leisure Estate,

Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023



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