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Meet the most popular regions for Chardonnay

Born in Burgundy the Chardonnay grape was born. Also known as ‘white burgundy’ in France, Chardonnay truly made it’s name and wine stand out across the globe.

Low maintenance, great adaptability to different climates, producers of this grape truly have a free run in shaping and styling their Chardonnay’s.

The grape might have got its name from Burgundy in France however there are a few other popular regions that have also been producing Chardonnay's that have been critically acclaimed and recognised worldwide. The Chardonnay grape is also one out of the three common grapes that is used in Champagne and Sparkling wines.

In California you have Santa Barbara and Napa Valley, two very sought after regions that have been producing Chardonnay for many many years. Burgundy may of been the birthplace for Chardonnay in France but also Chablis is also a highly demanded region for Chardonnay.

In New Zealand, you'll find the most searched for Chardonnay's are from Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. Some of the very best Chardonnay's we've tasted have been from our very own backyard!

Popular Wine Countries for Chardonnay


The Burgundy region of France shows a very diverse range of wine production. But in particular, focusing on Chardonnay you'll notice the purity of vibrant acidity.

Flavour profiles ranging from crisp citrus fruits from the cooler regions. The warmer regions will reflect notes of peach, toasted almonds and apricots.

Chablis is a winner when it comes to lean and flinty-mineral Chardonnay's, the cooler climate influence is present in this region that emphasis on the more lemon, apple flavours.

A favourite French wine brand of ours is Jean Bouchard. Jean Bouchard is a winery that represents a range of terroirs form Chablis, Maconnais and Cote d'Or. The Chardonnay this vineyard produces is exceptional, boasting in rich aromas and flavours that are very unique to the Jean Bouchard name.


Chardonnay grows in several places across California but the two most popular key regions are located in the Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast.

The Chardonnay grape has great adaptability and therefore reflects different styles depending on the climate influences whether it be by the coast like where Sonoma is located which shows mineral-rich style with a refreshing and leaner style or the Napa Valley which is a lot warmer, forming into a more tropical, richer and buttery style.

Two of our favourite wine brands from California are Bogle Vineyard and Robert Mondavi. These two brands have truly made their mark with Californian Chardonnay across the globe and we highly recommend giving them a try.

New Zealand

It's not a surprise that New Zealand produces some excellent Chardonnay's from across the North and South Island. We're lucky to be part of such a thriving wine loving and producing country. Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are the three go to regions here in New Zealand where you know you can count on getting a wonderful Chardonnay.

Isabel Estate is one of our very favourite and excusive wineries that we are lucky to share with you all. They make exceptional Chardonnay from the beautiful Marlborough region, oaky goodness there 2020 Chardonnay won a Trophy at The National Wine Awards here in New Zealand.

Two other favourite brands who make exceptional Chardonnay is the critically acclaimed Cloudy Bay located in Marlborough and the Craggy Range winery located in the mighty Hawke's Bay.

Oaked vs Unoaked Chardonnay

What is the difference between Oaked and Unoaked Chardonnay?

There are two comparable factors when speaking of the style of Chardonnay some may enjoy to drink and it is whether it is an oaked or unoaked Chardonnay.

Oaked Chardonnay refers to when the wine has been produced to have a buttery and creamy texture. Usually a richer and full-bodied style means that the wine has been stored in oak barrels after the fermentation process, giving that added structure and flavour profile.

Unoaked shows the other style, a lot lighter and fresher to drink. If you enjoy a crisper Chardonnay, you’ll taste the true flavours of the Chardonnay grape that hasn't been stored in barrels.

Your common questions answered:

Is Chardonnay a sweet or dry wine?

Chardonnay is known to be a dry style of wine. However, in saying this is truly depends on the winemakers and the style they want to deliver. Chardonnay is known to be a fruit-forward grape that has a medium to full body. Known to be more commonly dry but that doesn't mean their is no sweetness within it.

What kind of wine is Chardonnay?

Chardonnay is a white wine grape. You will notice the colour of the grape may differ in your wine glass, it is commonly known to be a darker and deeper sort of yellow to orange tinge. Produced with green coloured grapes with great adaptability to a range of climates.

Common questions continued:

What is the difference between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc?

There are a few key differences when comparing Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay is known to be a richer and more full-bodied wine and can taste deep and oaky.

Sauvignon is known as a much more crisp and refreshing wine with more sweetness. Both grapes are known to be dry but can show very unique styles depending on the fermentation process.

Is Chardonnay a good wine for beginners?

It truly depends on your own personal preferences and styles! If we are referring to just white wines for beginners, we would suggest trying a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris , two aromatic wines that are quite refreshing and herbaceous.

Chardonnay (depending on the style) can be a little bit more challenging to drink when you're first entering your wine journey. This can be down to factors such as the oakness, richness and sweetness.

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