List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Chardonnay Wine

Learn about Chardonnay — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

undefined, null

What Is Chardonnay?

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make both still white wine and sparkling wine. As one of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, and is a very popular choice among consumers, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest-lived examples of Chardonnay wine. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery Chardonnay styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

How Is Chardonnay Made?

As with most white wines, Chardonnay juice is pressed off the grape skins as soon as possible after harvest, thereby minimizing extraction of color and tannins. Fermentation follows immediately, and this may occur in stainless steel tanks or in oak barrels. Chardonnay is typically fermented to dryness. Once fermentation is complete, the wine may be aged in barrels for added complexity. Other winemaking techniques often employed are malolactic fermentation, which imparts a creamy, buttery sensation, and sur lie aging, which tends to soften the mouthfeel and add a subtle biscuit or nutty element.

Chardonnay Origin

Chardonnay was born as a natural cross between the white grape Gouais Blanc and the red grape Pinot Noir. This happy event is thought to have occurred early in the Middle Ages in the French region of Burgundy, where the grape is widely considered to reach its highest, and most age-worthy, expression. But for centuries it was only there and in Champagne where the grape stood out. Not until the late 1970s did California Chardonnay start to inspire interest, and that trend exploded in the 1980s and ‘90s. Soon other winemakers around the world got the memo–Chardonnay is easy to grow, flexible in both cool and warm climates, and boasts a range of easy-to-appreciate flavors. Production increased in places as varied as Oregon and Washington, South America, Australia and South Africa. Old World interest picked up as well, in Italy, Spain and elsewhere.

Tasting Notes for Chardonnay

Chardonnay grown in cooler regions exhibits racy, crisp flavors like lemon, lime, and green apple, along with flinty or chalky mineral notes. Warmer locations coax out richer flavors like melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice, while malolactic fermentation leads to a creamy, buttery texture. Chardonnay is typically a dry wine, although some winemakers allow a touch of residual sugar.

Oaked vs. Unoaked Chardonnay

While the ‘80s and ‘90s surge in popularity was fueled by well-oaked versions, today a number of fine un-oaked examples are made. Typically fermented and aged in stainless steel before bottling, these are bright, crisp, and fresh, showcasing Chardonnay’s pure fruit character and coming across lighter in body.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. Keep stylistic differences in mind when pairing with food.

  • Seafood: Enjoying lobster, crab or shrimp scampi? Choose a rich, buttery Chardonnay. With a briny or delicate dish, like oysters or cod, go with Chablis or a similar version.
  • Poultry: Chardonnay is great with chicken and turkey, and you’ll want a richer style if your dish includes a creamy sauce.
  • Cheese: Oaky, buttery Chardonnay is your best bet with bolder cheeses like cheddars and blues. Brighter, tangier cheeses call for a lighter, crisper style.
  • Things to avoid: Chardonnay is not a great match with foods that are too spicy, bitter or acidic.

How to Serve Chardonnay

Temperature is key. A wine served too warm will seem out of balance, with the alcohol too “hot.” If too cold, the aromas and flavors are muted. Fuller bodied styles are best at 55°F, while leaner versions can be enjoyed at 50°F. A half hour to an hour in the refrigerator will do the trick. As for glassware, a classic white wine glass with a thin rim is perfect. The bowl should be moderately large and should taper towards the top.

Chardonnay Facts

  • Chardonnay is the most widely planted white variety in the world.
  • Chardonnays from Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune are the most coveted in the world.
  • It is one of the three most important grapes in the production of Champagne.
  • The source of almost 80% of American Chardonnay is the so-called Wente Clone, obtained by California’s Wente Family from Burgundy in 1912.

Nutrition Facts

Chardonnay is usually a dry wine, which means there is little to no residual sugar. Thus, there are minimal carbohydrates, and there is no protein or fat. The caloric content comes from alcohol; a standard 5 ounce pour of Chardonnay has about 120 calories.

Sommelier Secrets for Chardonnay

Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay wine would likely enjoy this lighter style.

Chardonnay is popular with winemakers because it is easy both to grow and manipulate in the winery, with techniques like barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging. It remains popular with consumers because it offers friendly, appealing flavors and textures that make it versatile both with food and on its own.

Coming Soon: Regions Map. This is not a final layout.
Gift Type
Gift Type
    Occasion
    Occasion
      Variety
      Variety
        Rating & Price
        Rating & Price
        Rating 0 100
        Price $5 $300+
        Size & Type
        Older Vintages
        21 Items
        • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2019  Front Label
          Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2019
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • JD94
          • WS92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $95.99
          Try the
          95 99
          95 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Pellet Estate Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
          Pellet Estate Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • WW94
          5.0 21 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $69.99
          Try the
          69 99
          69 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Bodega DiamAndes Grande Reserve Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
          Bodega DiamAndes Grande Reserve Chardonnay 2016
          Chardonnay from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
          • JS94
          • WS90
          3.6 8 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $34.99
          Try the
          34 99
          34 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Dom. Pierre Labet Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes 2015 Front Label
          Domaine Pierre Labet Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes 2015
          Chardonnay from Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $99.99
            Try the
            99 99
            99 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Beaurepaire Premier Cru Blanc 2015 Front Label
            Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Beaurepaire Premier Cru Blanc 2015
            Chardonnay from Santenay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • D91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $76.99
            Try the
            76 99
            76 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
            Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
            Chardonnay from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $59.99
              Try the
              59 99
              59 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
              Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
              Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
              • JS93
              3.8 10 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
              Try the
              29 99
              29 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2018  Front Label
              Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2018
              Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
              • BH91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $52.99
              Try the
              52 99
              52 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Capensis Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
              Capensis Chardonnay 2016
              Chardonnay from South Africa
              • WE92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $79.99
              Try the
              79 99
              79 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
              Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
              Chardonnay from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
              • WW92
              • WE92
              • JD92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $47.99
              Try the
              47 99
              47 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Chanson Pere & Fils Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2020  Front Label
              Chanson Pere & Fils Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2020
              Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
              • D91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $105.99
              Try the
              105 99
              105 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
              Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2017
              Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
              • WE94
              • JD94
              • WS92
              • W&S90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $109.99
              Try the
              109 99
              109 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
              Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
              Chardonnay from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
              • RP94
              • JD93
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $95.99
              Try the
              95 99
              95 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
              Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2017
              Chardonnay from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $49.99
                Try the
                49 99
                49 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc Premier Cru 2020  Front Label
                Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc Premier Cru 2020
                Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • WW94
                • JS92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $149.99
                Try the
                149 99
                149 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
                Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2016
                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                • WE94
                • JS93
                • JD93
                • RP91
                • WS90
                4.4 7 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $78.99
                Try the
                78 99
                78 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • Rhys Vineyards Alesia Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
                Rhys Vineyards Alesia Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2016
                Chardonnay from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
                • JD93
                • RP90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $45.99
                Try the
                45 99
                45 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
                Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay 2016
                Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
                • JS96
                • RP95
                • WE93
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $74.99
                Try the
                74 99
                74 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • Vina Ventisquero Tara Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
                Vina Ventisquero Tara Chardonnay 2016
                Chardonnay from Chile
                • RP94
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $51.99
                Try the
                51 99
                51 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • David Arthur Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
                David Arthur Chardonnay 2015
                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $71.98
                  Try the
                  74 99
                  71 98
                  Save $3.01 (4%)
                • Alchemist Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
                  Alchemist Chardonnay 2016
                  Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $27.99
                    Try the
                    27 99
                    27 99
                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                  Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

                  Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
                  Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

                  It's easy to make the switch.
                  Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

                  Yes, Update Now

                  Search for ""

                  Processing Your Order...