Midalidare’s grape varieties: Chardonnay
Part 2: Chardonnay - The variety
Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine. It is made from green-skinned grapes that adapt to a variety of climates. Chardonnay can be crisp and clean, or rich and oaky. There is something for everyone, which is why Chardonnay is so beloved.
The variety is named after a village in Bourgogne called Chardonnay and the Romans called Cardonnacum (which translates into ‘the area of thistles’, Chardon being French for thistle too). The historic legend in France goes that Chardonnay owes its popularity to the wife of Emperor Charlemagne who ordered that white wine grapes be planted in Burgundy because she was fed up with the red wine staining her husband’s beard while he was drinking!
For much of its history, a connection was assumed between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir or Pinot Blanc. In addition to being found in the same region of France for centuries, ampelographers noted that the leaves of these plants have near-identical shape and structure. Chardonnay's true origins were further obscured by vineyard owners in Lebanon and Syria, who claimed that the grape's ancestry could be traced to the Middle East, from where it was introduced to Europe by returning Crusaders. Another theory stated that it originated from an ancient indigenous vine found in Cyprus.
Modern DNA fingerprinting research now suggests that Chardonnay is the result of a cross between the Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc (Heunisch) grape varieties. The Romans are thought to have brought Gouais blanc from Croatia. The Pinot of the French aristocracy grew in close proximity to the Gouais blanc, giving the two ample opportunity to interbreed. Since the two parents were genetically distant, many of the crosses showed hybrid vigour and were selected for further propagation. These "successful" crosses included Chardonnay and siblings such as Aligote, Aubin Vert, Auxerrois Blanc, Bachet Noir, Beaunoir, Franc Noir de la-Haute-Saône, Gamay Blanc Gloriod, Gamay Noir, Melon, Knipperlé, Peurion, Roublot, Sacy, and Dameron.
Numerous clonal varieties of Chardonnay could be found in vineyards throughout France; most of these were developed at the University of Burgundy in Dijon. New World varieties include the 'Mendoza' clone, which produced some of the early California Chardonnays. Chardonnay has served as parent to several French-American hybrid grapes, as well as crossings with other V. Vinifera varieties. Examples include the hybrid Chardonel, which was a Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc. Mutations of the Chardonnay grape include the rare pink-berried 'Chardonnay Rose'; also 'Chardonnay Blanc Musqué', which produces an intensely aromatic wine.
Chardonnay is one of the most popular grape variety in Bulgaria as well. The plantations in Mogilovo are situated at Prisovete and Shipkata vineyards, near by the Eastern winery. Varietal and blended PGI wines are produced by Midalidare, blends include Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon: 42/25 Chardonnay & Viognier & Sauvignon Blanc, Carpe Diem White, Angel’s Share Chardonnay, Calista Chardonnay.
The pearls of Midalidare, made entirely according to traditional sparkling winemaking and highly appreciated both internationally and locally, are also produced of Chardonnay grapes: Midalidare Sparkling Blanc de Blancs and Midalidare Sparkling Brut.
All articles on “Midalidare’s grape varieties: Chardonnay”
Part 1: Chardonnay in a nutshell
Part 3: Chardonnay - The terroirs
Part 4: Chardonnay - The wines
Part 5: Chardonnay - Serving and storage
Part 6: Chardonnay - Food pairing
Other articles on "Midalidare's grape varieties"
Midalidare’s grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc
Midalidare’s grape varieties: Mourvedre
Sources: Winemag, En.wikipedia, Socialvignerons, En.wikipedia