The term “Chardonnay” has now entered into our popular imagination. Even those who are not passionate about wine, have at least once heard of this white grape variety, very popular around the world, from Italy to France, from Germany to California, Chile and Argentina. The complexity and number of aromatic components means it can be grown in different ways in almost all areas and climates where it is possible to develop agriculture. In Italy we can find excellent wines made out of this blend (including quality sparkling wines), especially in Piemonte, Friuli, Veneto, Trentino, Valle d’Aosta, Tuscany and Sicily.
Although this vine prefers hilly and clay-limestone grounds, with temperate and warm climates, it can still be grown in cool, well-ventilated areas, such as in the sub-alpine zone, or in intense heat, such as the Sicilian hinterland. However, we need to pay attention to the crucial phase of the harvest: the early ripening of the grapes (some even in late April) means that they are at greater risk of spring frost, resulting in wines with too low acidity. The relative ease of cultivation remains, however, the key feature that makes Chardonnay one of the most popular wines in the world.
In Italy there are countless labels IGT, DOC and DOCG where Chardonnay features its scents and flavours: from Central Italy with Maremma Toscana and the Valdichiana Doc, or Colli Maceratesi and Colli Bolognesi, to the North of the Peninsula with wines from Friuli (Carso, Friuli Grave, Isonzo, Collio), Veneto (Prosecco, Soave, Serenissima, Merlara) and Piemonte (Langhe, Valli Ossolane). In the South, we find wines from Sicily (Alcamo, Menfi, Monreale, Salaparuta), Puglia (Salice Salentino, Terra d’Otranto, Castel del Monte) and Calabria (Savuto, Scavigna and Terre di Cosenza). This, once again confirms Chardonnay’s versatility, which from its native France (Burgundy, the village of Maconnais, hence the name) is so widespread across the planet to internationally become synonymous of wine.