A toast to the enduring success – and continuing evolution – of chardonnay

by Christopher Waters, special to The Globe & Mail

As the world’s most popular white wine, chardonnay commands the spotlight. Despite its ubiquity, it has never lost its lustre, because consumers continue to enjoy drinking it – and winemakers around the world love to make it.

Steve Weber, winemaker at De Bortoli Wines in Australia’s Yarra Valley, once suggested that the chardonnay vine is like a weed because it can grow anywhere – but vintners in Australia, California and other warm regions are increasingly looking for cooler spots to cultivate their vineyards. Cooler climes can help preserve the acidity in the grapes to promote freshness and purity in finished wines.

Good examples of chardonnay continue to be produced in vineyards across the globe. Fantastic bottles are coming from cooler locations, notably Canada’s own wine regions, which can produce a diversity of styles: oaked and unoaked, still and sparkling, fresh and fruity or rich and complex.

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