Chardonnay is a grape variety that originated in Burgundy, France, and is now grown in most wine regions throughout the world. The chardonnay grape is also a major grape for the production of Champagne and sparkling wines and is one of the most widely planted grape varieties.
In the 80’s Chardonnay was on fire. People were buying it so fast wine merchants were having a hard time keeping their shelves stocked. Wineries were doing everything they could to increase production and things went bad…really bad. Some got careless and began pumping out over oaked, over malo-ed (buttery) Chardonnays. The market became flooded with “butter bombs” and Chardonnay’s illustrious image went from queen of the ball to “anything but Chardonnay.” But thankfully the story continued. Many producers have pulled back from the misuse of oak to a more subtle approach, some opting for stainless steel fermentation, avoiding oak all together. Additionally, a balanced approach to malolactic fermentation has allowed many Chardonnays to maintain their acidity while still mellowing out some of its edginess.
So grab a glass and let’s celebrate National Chardonnay Day. And since there is some discrepancy as to whether it is May 21st or May 26th I say buy 6 bottles of all different styles of Chardonnay (including sparkling) and have a 6 day Chardonnay festival!